Psychological biases that limit your growth
Have you ever been seduced by click-bait articles glorifying someone and the promise of a similar fortune?
- This is what Virat said to Anushka to have her say yes!
- The #1 secret to Elon Musk’s success(hey Elon, if you are reading this – I love you!)
- Follow this #1 morning ritual of self-made billionaires (umm…they open their eyes and stop dreaming?)
We end up clicking on these articles because, well, hello biases!
We subconsciously believe they achieved success following these rituals and somehow forget all the other millions of people who tried the same rituals but didn’t succeed. (Think of all the other heart-broken Virats after seeing Anushka marrying one.)
You know what I’m talking about, right?
Survivorship bias. Learning only from the successful people’s outcomes and ignoring the rest which turned out to be unlucky. I can’t begin to tell how many biases like this affect our decision making on a daily basis.
Oh, what the hell!
Okay…I will tell you. Here we go! Following are some of the most common biases which restrict our growth.
Confirmation bias exists when we choose to ignore information that goes against our beliefs and seek information that confirms our existing beliefs. It’s like if you are an alcoholic, in order to prove your point you will read about “people who drink a glass of wine daily are at lower risk of having cancer”. So break the vicious cycle and gulp every information with a healthy dose of skepticism.
This happens when you place too much faith in your own knowledge and opinions. According to a research, this bias is most likely to be found in subject-matter experts or entrepreneurs. You start acting like a HIPPO in your organization and you may believe that your decisions are more valuable than any other opinion/suggestion.
This is the most common bias that you must have experienced in your life. Here’s a funny workplace video which explains it all. And a not-so-funny videowhich explains the other real-life examples. You must have also seen it when Pakistan wins a game of cricket from India the captain talks about how “the boys played well“. But when they lose the match, well, all you hear is how the pitch was hard or “it just wasn’t our day”! By blaming other people/things for your failures, you protect your self-esteem. But in return, you turn off the reality.
Outcome Bias is when we evaluate a decision on the basis of its outcome- positive or negative. This bias focuses on the end result rather than the processes which affected the decision from the time it was made. Here’s a good read if you want to understand why process matters more than the outcome.
If biases have caught your attention, I would suggest you to pick the cheat sheetof cognitive biases or read this profound book, Thinking Fast and Slow, by a Nobel prize-winning author Daniel Kahneman.
Although not all biases are bad, but becoming aware of them might help you in mitigating their negative effects.
May you meet your Anushka soon!
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