Cognitive biases may lead you to draw conclusions based, not on evidence, but on a particular predisposition of your mind. It is sometimes referred to as the Selection Effect. Of course, you can't do this with all biases at once. Practice. In the comments which follow some heads share their own tips for avoiding cognitive biases. How can we achieve this? If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, then don’t make critical decisions. Once, it turned out that three or four colleagues had the same concerns about one of our strategic aims, but none of them had spoken up as each had thought they were the only one thinking it!". Anchoring Bias—you rely too heavily on, or "anchor", on one trait or piece of information when making decisions. The tendency to be excessively confident in your judgment. By knowing there are factors that can alter the way we see, experience, or recall things, we know that there are additional steps we must take when forming a judgment or opinion about something. Authority bias is the tendency to attribute greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure and be more influenced by that opinion. Several times my questions have proven to be very revealing. You can avoid many types of cognitive biases by becoming more self-aware of how you look at data. For example, it may be hard to remember that 200,000 people have died of Covid if you know a few people who have been asymptomatic and easily survived it. Our goal is simply to catch them, and not to let them impact out work (and thus the lives of others). Status Quo Bias. There is no doubt that in any structured society, obedience to authority is necessary to avoid larger chaos. Our fifth and final example, status quo bias, is a prime example of how our need for stability and routine can influence our behavior. Downplay the formal position. The tendency to overrate oneself is just one manifestation of a whole range of predictable mental errors that can lead us to reach unfounded conclusions – and therefore to behave in a manner that is not necessarily rational or indeed optimal. Completing this section will help you to recognize common mental flaws that may influence your judgment as a department head. Debiasing ourselves begins by understanding our biases and their effect on our decisions. No? These fads are almost always dreamt up by people whose thinking has been affected by untested preconceptions, unwarranted optimism and unrealistic expectations. This kind of feedback requires a certain degree of courage on the part of your colleague, and a corresponding degree of professionalism and inner calm on your own part. Here are three that I found to be particularly interesting: Availability Heuristic. Cognitive biases can affect our thinking in various ways, including the following: 1. While few people consciously prescribe to the Machiavellian theory “the end justifies the means”, it is much easier to look back on a terrible decision and justify it with how it turned out. Using a strategic decision-making process will help leaders make more thoughtful and thorough decisions by organizing information and alternatives. Posted Feb 11, 2019 With that in mind, here’s how to avoid cognitive bias: Your email address will not be published. Example: Referring to the resources listed in the 'Resource bank' at the end of this course to find out more about how cognitive biases work, and how they can distort judgment and memory. Back in Shakespeare's time, the next step might have been to employ a fool who would tell the king... Other suggestions. The list which follows defines seven different types of cognitive bias. You may boast about the positive effects of the policy you introduced to reduce the number of A's given by your department, but forget that inflated grading might have been responsible for the subsequent increase in the drop-out rate. Of course not. A good way to avoid this bias is to also to complement interviews with observations/heat maps. On paper, this person is extremely qualified, the best you’ve … However, cognitive biases can cause us to make faulty instead of informed decisions. That includes bias blind spot: the tendency to see how biases affect other people, but not yourself. 5. They provide a better account of how researchers use the product and the kind of errors they commit due to poor design. Copyright © 2020 Adventures in Content Strategy. This may unconsciously make you less worried about missing the train in the future (even though it is still a bad idea!). Training can improve our decision making and reduce confirmation bias.

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