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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Cognitive bias in software engineering


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Developer's thought processes are a fundamental area of concern. Cognitive scientist have discovered that people's intiative inferences and probality judgments do not strictly conform to the laws of logic or mathematics, and that people are willing to provide plausible explanations for random events. This article examines the role these phenomena might have in software development, ultimately concluding that what are cast as one-sided software development guidelines often can be recast beneficially as two-sided trade-offs.

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