Your brain is constantly taking shortcuts, "heuristics" that are right more than wrong, and work at the intersection of speed and accuracy.
You take the availability shortcut when you rely on what you can easily recall instead of what's accurate.
Here's an example.
One afternoon I fell into a digital wormhole studying dementia and Alzheimer rates in Wisconsin. Immediately afterward, I met a friend for a drink to celebrate her retirement. When she couldn't remember an important date, a worry flashed through my mind, "Oh no, she's developing dementia!"
She wasn't. But I was suffering from availability bias, the mental shortcut that caused me to associate my friend's forgetfulness with something that was recent and vivid, my dementia research.
Read: Kent Hendricks on Availability Heuristic
See: The Cognitive Bias Codex
Rebecca Ryan, APF
Rebecca Ryan captains the ship. Trained as a futurist and an economist, Rebecca helps clients see what's coming - as a keynote speaker, a Futures Lab facilitator, an author of books, blogs and articles, a client advisor, and the founder of Futurist Camp. Check out her blog or contact Lisa Loniello for more information.