A Reminder of Cognitive Biases

[The article, “How Our Biases Make Us Blind” by Faisal Hoque, got me thinking about cognitive biases.]

I have to admit that I sort of like looking through the “List of cognitive biases” on Wikipedia. There is something powerful about being able to put a name to the bias. There’s also something a bit disconcerting about the myriad of ways we can mess up our thinking.

When it comes to the shortlist of common biases, one of my favorites is from Business Insider’s “20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions.” I actually printed its infographic out and keep it nearby for easy reference. It’s a reminder that, even with my best thinking, there are ways that I can convince myself that I am right, even when I might be wrong.

How Our Biases Make Us Blind” is a nice reminder that, even when the same data is available for all, we can each still perceive the world differently from one another. For me, the most useful section was “It’s the Structure, Stupid” as it provided some interesting advice on how to overcome the biases addressed earlier in the article. Here’s the quote I took away as something to think about more later:

“Management scholars call the congruence between environmental demands and organizational needs requisite variety: the information entering into the team is complex, so the constituents of the team need to match that complexity in order to operate at a high function.”

Here’s the infographic from “20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions” that I mentioned, above:

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