Life Style

Take better decisions by checking your bias

Most of us have heard of cognitive biases but do you know that the same biases are affecting our judgment and decision making skills unbeknownst to us? Here are the major cognitive biases that regularly tend to cloud our judgment.

Anchoring bias

People are over reliant on the very first piece of information they hear. This is very common in our daily lives. A local seller or vendor establishes anacceptable price range when he or she quotes a price for any goods or service. In a salary negotiation too, whoever makes the first offer establishes a range of reasonable possibilities in their minds.

Choice Supportive bias

When we chose something, we tend to be partial towards it. Sometimes we choose wrong or our choice has some flaws but we feel positive about them anyway because of our own bias. If you had a dog that growls at everyone who came to your house and may bite people occasionally, you’d still feel like your dog is awesome because it was your choice.

Selective Perception

Our expectations of the world have a great influence on how we perceive it. A very simple example of it is sports rivalry. There was once an experiment involving a football match between the students of two rival universities. They found out that one team saw the opposing team commit more infractions then the one they were supporting and vice versa.

Stereotyping

This is one of the most commonly heard cognitive biases in our lives. Stereotyping is expecting a person or a group of people to have certain qualities/flaws without having any real information about that said person. Stereotyping is somehow ingrained in our brain and it traditionally helps us quickly identify strangers as friends or enemies but people often tend to overuse and abuse it.

Confirmation Bias

We all have our opinions and preconceived notions about different things in the world and it has been proven that we tend to listen only to information that somehow confirms our own preconceptions. Inversely, we tend to ignore or dismiss information that goes against our preconceptions. This is one of the reason it’s so hard to have an intelligent conversation about climate change.

Bandwagon Effect

Your likelihood of adopting a new belief is based on the number of others who holds that belief. Your chances of adopting a belief increases with the number of followers – it’s called the bandwagon effect. This is a very powerful form of groupthink and is the reason why meetings are often unproductive.

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