Another bias is the "Stereotyping Bias". This is one I think a lot of people do from time to time, including myself. The name sounds healthy, but it can be deceiving. Have a little fun and take the calorie test below.
By Alexander Chernev
Below you will see a list of 10 meals from popular fast food chains. Write down your estimate of the calorie content of each meal. No need to come up with a precise number; instead just provide a low and high estimate of each meal's calorie count.
For example, if asked to indicate the calorie content of a Big Mac, you might think that it most likely has somewhere between 300 calories (low estimate) and 600 calories (high estimate).
Your goal is to identify high and low estimates such that the right answer falls between the two numbers you write down 90% of the time. In other words, this means that you should get at most one answer (10% of responses) wrong.
MEALS LOW ESTIMATE HIGH ESTIMATE
Dunkin' Donuts multigrain bagel with lite
Chili's citrus fire chicken and shrimp fajitas
Denny's smoked sausage scramble
Krispy Kreme's whole wheat glazed donut
McDonald's Quarter Pounder (without cheese)
Panera Bread's broccoli cheddar soup (8oz) in
a sourdough soup bowl
Romano's Macaroni Grill grilled salmon
Ruby Tuesday's turkey burger (with fries)
Starbucks' grande 2% white chocolate mocha
and a bran muffin with nuts
Uno Chicago Grill's classic deep dish pizza
Now, let's find out how you did
Dunkin' Donuts multigrain bagel with lite cream cheese: 490
Chili's citrus fire chicken and shrimp fajitas: 1,360
Denny's smoked sausage scramble: 1,480
Krispy Kreme's whole wheat glazed donut: 180
McDonald's Quarter Pounder (without cheese): 410
Panera Bread's broccoli cheddar soup (8oz) in a sourdough soup bowl: 880
Romano's Macaroni Grill grilled salmon teriyaki: 1,230
Ruby Tuesday's turkey burger (with fries): 1,393
Starbucks' grande 2% white chocolate mocha and a bran muffin with nuts: 900
Uno Chicago Grill's classic deep dish pizza (individual): 2,310
If you got all answers right or made only one mistake, you are an exception. If you did not -- don't get depressed. Most people don't. On average only half of the answers to this quiz are correct, significantly below the 90% target.
As you might have guessed by now, this was not just a test of your knowledge of calories but also a test of your confidence in your own knowledge. As this quiz shows, most of us are overconfident, thinking that we know more than we actually do.
© 2011 Alexander Chernev, author of The Dieter's Paradox: Why Dieting Makes Us Fat
Overall, I think The Dieter's Paradox: Why Dieting Makes Us Fat brings a lot of things to our attention. It makes us reflect more on our behavior and the thoughts which drive our behaviors. Are we being honest with what we are eating? Are we being deceived by the names of foods and putting them in undeserving "healthy" categories? Do these biases get in the way of our weight goals? With all of the resources available for achieving a healthy weight, there has to be an explanation as to why so many people still struggle with weight loss. Because humans are complex in nature, there is no simple, cut and dry solution or explanation to any struggle. Chervev allows us to view weight struggles of dieters through a psychological lens. Sure, there are other perspectives to the weight dilemma that are spot on for certain people. This is one that the author has researched well and written in a way that is easy to understand. It is one big piece of the puzzle.
This book is an eye-opener. It may even be more effective for some people than any diet has even been. Here's why. It gets inside our thoughts and behaviors; the driving force to our eating. To succeed at something, we should truly understand what it is we are doing. There is a great benefit in knowing why you are eating; perhaps even more than what you are eating. Or maybe we just need a strong combination of both.
Have a fabulous Tuesday!!
For more information on the book and the author, please visit http://www.dietersparadox.com/, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.