Friday, November 1, 2013

Cognitive Biases

Cognitive biases have an affect within our creativity whether we know it or not. After viewing a list of different cognitive biases, I was able to pinpoint which ones I have experienced in the past. In this blog I would like to share my experience as well as what I can do to avoid experiencing these cognitive biases in the future. The five biases I have experienced are the hindsight bias, the information bias, the status quo bias, the verbatim effect, and the Zeigarnik effect.

The hindsight bias is when a person is predictable about present experiences. For instance, I work in an office setting. My co-worker starts hers shift at ( am but every morning I predict that she will be at work a little after 10am. I predict this because everyday for the past 4 months, she has come in at that time. I could avoid this cognitive bias by thinking she will come in a little after 10 am. I can decide to no longer have a prediction and to change my perspective.

The information bias is when a person becomes fond of getting information even though they may not be affected by it. Sometimes I find myself yearning to know more information even though it may not help me in what I need to do. For instance, I once found myself looking up information in regards to going to school for engineering. I don’t want to become an engineer, but was seeking to simple find the information on it. I can avoid this by not being so curious of information that won’t help me.

The status quo bias has to do with one wanting things to stay the same. I have experienced this many times. For instance, there is a Thai restaurant that I love to go to. However, every time I go, I order the same meal because I know that it will taste good every time. Instead of having things remain relatively the same, I can choose a different dish from the menu next time and hopefully it will taste just as good or even better.

The verbatim effect is when someone remembers the “gist of what another person said as opposed to what they exactly said. I have done this many times to people. Because I am a straightforward person, I like to get to the point in conversation. This has led me to listen for “the point” during conversations rather than listen to what is being said verbatim.  To change this, I can listen to people by hearing exactly what they are saying and not rush them mentally to get the “gist” of what is being said.

The Zeigarnik effect is when a person focuses more on uncompleted tasks, rather than the completed ones. I tend to do this often, especially when it comes to school work. I would constantly remember what needs to be done and give all my attention towards that. This can be frustrating and overwhelming at times. However, can I can do going forward, I can embrace and appreciate the work that I have done and then look at the next step of what need to be completed. 

What cognitive biases have you experienced?

Tag:   #CMC11

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