The Pseudocertainty Effect is the tendency for people to perceive an outcome as certain while it is actually uncertain. There can be many pressures on us to show a sense of certainty, especially if people rely on us for their sense of security. As with all the other heuristics and biases, this isn’t right or wrong – unless, of course, there’s a risk of negative consequences.

One useful counter-measure is to ask: If someone other than me was to assess my level of certainty, how similar would their assessment be to mine? If it would vary, why would that be the case? Am I over-assessing the certainty here and if so, what are the potential consequences?

For a full list of the most common biases, click here.