First instinct fallacy is defined as the false belief that it is better not to change one’s first answer on a test even if one starts to think a different answer is correct.

In the psychology context, the first instinct fallacy is the idea that our initial or automatic response to a situation is always the best or most accurate. This fallacy assumes that our first instinct is always correct, without considering other factors such as context or additional information.

Here are some examples of the first instinct fallacy in action:

  • A person hears a loud noise and immediately assumes it is gunfire, without considering other possible explanations such as fireworks or construction noise.

  • A person meets someone new and immediately dislikes them, without considering that their initial impression may be biased or based on limited information.

  • A person faces a difficult decision and goes with their gut instinct, without considering the potential consequences or gathering more information.

While our instincts and intuition can sometimes be useful in making quick decisions, they are not always reliable or accurate. By recognizing the first instinct fallacy, we can learn to be more thoughtful and deliberate in our decision-making, and consider multiple perspectives and sources of information before making a final judgment.

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