Andy’s Quick Hits (3): The Simplest Way to Reduce Unconscious Bias

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I was interested to read in one of my favourite sources of knowledge, Nautilus, of a seemingly effective way to reduce cognitive biases and one that I have recommended over the years albeit without this latest scientific backing.

Jim Davies summarises it well by saying that

In short unconscious bias, also known as cognitive biases, are the group of automated decision tools our brain uses to make quick but sometimes, or often, incorrect assumptions.

In a 2021 study, by Philip Maymin with legendary Ellen Langer, participants who engaged in a series of tasks that increased their focus on, perceptual awareness of, their surroundings, showed decreased susceptibly to a range of cognitive biases.

Interesting is that the impact was over a range of cognitive biases pointing to the good news that this is a simple intervention that can work as a general intervention against our biases!

Paying attention and being mindful of yourself and your environment can therefore reduce cognitive bias, enabling better decision-making, and therefore, in theory, help make you “smarter”.

Review my post on the brain science of self-reflection here

The brain and human behaviour, in business, society, learning, and health.

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