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Beware of Bias

Published on 24 May 2024

Beware of Bias

Bias influences every decision we make, every piece of analysis we do and every conversation we have. And if you are reading this and thinking “not me” then this is an example of the objectivity illusion. This is a tendency for people to believe that they are more objective and less biased than others. 

If we possess a brain, then we inevitably have biases. Our brains, though highly complex, are outmatched by the infinitely more complex external world. Heuristics is the mental shortcut process we use to make decisions. We filter out most incoming information and base our assumptions on the remainder, thereby introducing bias. Magicians have exploited this for centuries. It’s not that their hands are quicker than our eyes; rather, our brains filter out what our eyes see because the magician directs our attention elsewhere, playing on our biases.

Bias isn’t inherently negative. It’s a crucial element of decision-making.

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This article was first published in the 2024 Best Practice Guide - Shaping the Future

To download a full digital copy of the Best Practice Guide, click here.

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