Unconscious biases

Did you know that we the humans receive 11 million bits of information every moment and we can consciously process only 40 bits?

99.999996% of our mental processing is ruled by our unconscious.

  1. Our brains come quickly process huge data unconsciously.
  2. Most of what we’re feeling and deciding is driven by unconscious processing.

quickly process, prioritise, categorise and summarise large amount of data

life saving fight or flight responses

make thousands of quick decisions without thinking

We are all unconsciously biased.

Unconscious biases are:

  1. extremely functional (sometimes potentially life saving) tricks and help us get through the day.
  2. help us make thousands of quick decisions without us having to think about them.

In the modern world and especially in workplace environment, information overload can invoke unconscious biases that can:

  1. affect task allocation by managers. For example, if the tasks are associated with stereotypes, managers tend to assign those due a bias called stereotyping, managers may certain tasks to

Biases are rooted in our unconscious mind and are extremely functional (sometimes potentially life saving) tricks and help us get through the day.

Oxford dictionary defines a bias as an "inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair."

Due to our strong survival instincts our minds developed heuristics or fight or flight responses.

Managers need to understand the unconscious biases in order to manage their teams fairly and effectively.

understanding these biases and becoming aware of the ways that they influence your behavior is vital to becoming a better manager.

  1. Stereotyping Bias - Stereotyping means unconsciously holding a "generalized" view about someone based on that person's origin, gender etc. with actually knowing the person.
  2. Availability Bias - The availability bias, is a mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come to a given person's mind when evaluating a specific topic, concept, method or decision. The availability bias operates on the notion that if something can be recalled, it must be important, or at least more important than alternative solutions which are not as readily recalled.
  3. Anchoring Bias - Anchoring bias, also called confirmation bias, occurs when you consciously ignore the available data and search for the data that supports your preconceived views.
  4. Recency Bias - Recency bias means attaching more importance to the recent information compared to the older information.
  5. Halo Effect Bias - Halo effect is a type of bias where an overwhelming positive trait of an individual overshadows the other negative traits.
  6. Horn Effect Bias - Horn effect is the opposite of halo effect and involves managers using an overwhelming negative trait about a team member to cloud their judgement about the team member's other positive contributions.
  7. Fundamental Attribution Error - The fundamental attribution error is the tendency to overemphasize personal characteristics and ignore situational factors in judging others’ behavior.
  8. Agreement Bias - Agreement bias is attributed to social norms that encourage agreeable behaviour. Managers posses an innate authority and it plays on the psychology of their team members.
  9. Leniency bias - Leniency error occurs when managers tend to be more lenient or going easy while giving feedback as compared to the peers giving the feedback.
  10. Stringency bias - Stringency bias occurs when managers tend to be more stringent or tough while giving feedback as compared to the peers giving the feedback.
  11. Self-serving bias - A self-serving bias is the common habit of a person taking credit for positive events or outcomes, but blaming outside factors for negative events.
  12. Similar to me bias - Similar to me bias is a type of bias where a a manager tends to hire or promote team members who possess traits similar to that of the manager.

Wait! Before you go!

You might also be interested in these training videos

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Recency bias
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Overcoming unconscious bias - Promotion nominations
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Halo effect

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