Behavioral Diagnostics Toolkit

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Spotlight Effect

They're all looking at me! The tendency to overestimate the extent to which one's own actions and appearance will be noticed by others.

Focusing Illusion

The fun name for this is the invisible gorilla! The tendency to exaggerate one component of a concept, idea, event, or time period. In the words of Daniel Kahneman - "The Focus Illusion can be summed up in a single sentence: Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it."

Serial Position Effect – Primacy/Recency Effect

Hearing it first or last matters! A person is likely to remember the first (primacy) and last (recency) items in a sequence more effectively than those presented in the middle.


"That's a knife!" An object or concept that naturally draws our attention is said to be salient; this stems from our natural tendency to detect deviations in behavior (or object attributes) and infer that they are important. We are programmed to notice things that stick out, even if it means we ignore important things that stick out less.