A Theory of Knowledge

The following is an excerpt from a piece of literary fiction by Jess Zimmerman in Catapult magazine

This final exam will count for 40 percent of your course grade. In the space below, please provide an example of each listed cognitive bias.


When I thought you didn’t want me, I would have done anything.

Attentional bias

Everyone on the department website has an official headshot, except you. (I looked. Of course I looked.) Instead you have a snapshot taken near dusk, near winter, your jacket zipped to your jaw. The buttery light from a streetlamp pours molten down your face; you are lifting your chin against a sudden wind that blows your hair back. Who took this picture? You aren’t looking at her. You’re looking off to the left.

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