From the minute we open our eyes in the morning until we close them again at night, we are constantly making choices. Although the exact number varies from person to person, research suggests that the typical adult makes roughly 35,000 choices every single day. Our brains don’t provide the same amount of attention to each choice to conserve time and energy. We choose to simplify things in our minds instead. These mental shortcuts are referred to as “biases.” They cannot be categorised as good or bad; they exist. For example, expedience bias forces us to make judgments as rapidly as possible. If we’re in a building that’s on fire, it may save our lives, but if we’re trying to evaluate someone’s performance, it could lead to an error.
Expedience bias – We like to act swiftly.
The demand for certainty, or the need to be aware of what’s happening, is ingrained in the human species. One of the drawbacks is the urge to make snap decisions without carefully weighing all the evidence beforehand. When we rate the performance of our employees based just on one data point or suggestion, we are susceptible to expedience bias.
The problem may be addressed by developing a step-by-step procedure that makes it simple to collect more information.
The IKEA effect – We put too much value on things we’ve done ourselves and not enough on other people’s smart ideas or good work.
Our brains tend to put too much value on jobs or projects that we’ve done. This is because we tend to place a high value on things that have some importance for us individually, even if those items do not truly have any practical use.
Be truthful about why you support a certain cause to avoid this problem.
Ask yourself, “Is this truly the wisest course of action? Or are you going forward with this choice because you believe it would boost your self-confidence?”
Similarity bias – We favour things that are like us above those that are distinct from us.
Similarity bias often influences our judgments about individuals, such as who to recruit, who to promote, and who to delegate tasks to.
Finding common ground with individuals who first seem different is necessary to overcome a bias toward similarity.
Survivorship bias – Tendency to focus excessively on one’s triumphs while minimising or ignoring one’s failures.
You should be aware that you will read about the most successful new firms when you research new businesses. Still, since you will not spend the same amount of time studying unsuccessful businesses, you will come away with an erroneous picture of the likelihood that you will be successful. Because we only consider individuals who have succeeded, we are more likely to have an exaggerated sense of optimism when affected by survivor bias.
Examining the situation as a whole is essential to overcoming the influence of survivor bias.
Confirmation bias – Tendency to give greater weight to information that confirms our preexisting ideas.
Because of our inherent bias, we tend to disregard any information that conflicts with our ideas. However, making decisions based only on evidence that supports one’s own beliefs is a certain way to introduce bias into the process.
Before settling on a judgment, you should always consider and test the opposing viewpoint in as many ways as possible. This will help you avoid making rash decisions.
Contrast Effect – Inclination to see differences between two things as bigger than they are when directly compared.
Comparing people is an easy way to judge them, but it cannot be good for growth and decision-making. Imagine that you are the manager in charge of recruiting and have three applicants to choose from. One of these potential possibilities is sufficient, another is satisfactory, and the last option is outstanding. Conduct the first interview with the best applicant and the second with the best candidate. You will probably give the good candidate a lower score than you would if you conducted the first interview with the adequate candidate and the second with the excellent candidate. The qualifications of the good applicant will remain the same; nevertheless, they will be given varied scores depending on how they compare to other candidates.
Make judgements based on the unique qualities of each thing or person rather than drawing direct comparisons. Take the time to analyse each object or person individually before coming to any conclusions. This will help you avoid the contrast effect bias.
Attribution Bias – Urge to explain one’s actions in terms of external factors while attributing the actions of others to internal factors.
The procedures of recruiting, promoting employees, and evaluating employees’ performance may all be negatively impacted by attribution bias. For instance, if a person is consistently late to work, one would conclude that they are uninspired or lazy. However, the employee may be going through a difficult period.
To prevent this, it is important to cultivate empathy, consider various circumstances that might influence behaviour, and be aware of the inclination to make rapid judgments about other people’s intentions.
Intuition Bias – Tendency to judge one’s judgment based on one’s gut feelings rather than specific facts.
For example- if you are a hiring manager and a candidate is competent and has a fantastic interview, but there is something about the person you don’t believe, you won’t choose that person.
When making choices, you should base them on facts, data, and logical analysis; simultaneously, you should intentionally question intuitive judgements using critical thinking and rigorous review. This will help you avoid intuition bias.
Bandwagon effect – People tend to do or believe the same things as others because they see them doing or believing the same thing.
Have your parents ever asked, “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you follow?” This phenomenon is known as the bandwagon effect. People have a propensity to make choices that are in line with current trends. People tend to adapt their opinions or actions to those of most of their peers, called the “herd mentality.”
Instead of basing your choices on what’s popular, take the time to thoroughly consider all your available alternatives and ensure you’re not simply following the crowd because that’s what everyone else is doing.
We all, as humans, are born with biases that remain with us throughout our lives. They are the product of our upbringing, the things we’ve done, and our connections. Although our preconceived ideas may have assisted us in navigating our way through the world, they may also be hindering our personal development. It is a good stage in personal development to take measures to detect and decrease your biases. This will have a beneficial influence on a range of different aspects of your life.
Author-Fatema Nawar Silme