What are some of the most common types of bias? How do they affect our thinking and decision making? Why is it important that we be aware of them?

What are some of the most common types of bias? How do they affect our thinking and decision making? Why is it important that we be aware of them?

The following list includes a few examples of biases. You may have heard about these before, but you might not know what exactly they mean or how to recognize them in your own life. The first example below shows an unconscious bias; the second one illustrates a conscious bias.

Unconscious Bias: We all have certain beliefs about ourselves and others based on past experiences. These beliefs can influence us without us even being consciously aware of them. For instance, if someone has been hurt by another person in the past, he/she will likely believe that other people cannot be trusted. This belief could lead him/her to avoid relationships with new people because s/he doesn’t want to get hurt again. It’s easy for this type of bias to go unnoticed until something happens that triggers its negative effects.

Conscious Bias: A conscious bias occurs when we make decisions based on personal preferences rather than facts. An example would be choosing a restaurant over another simply because we like their food better. In contrast, there are also times when we choose a particular option because we think it makes sense. When we’re faced with choices between two options, we tend to favor those that match up with our values and beliefs. However, sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve made such a choice.

How does bias impact our lives?

 Bias affects everything from job interviews to dating to politics. Here are just a few ways that bias influences our daily lives:

1) Job Interviews – If you apply for a position at work, chances are good that you’ll face questions during the interview process designed to test whether you meet the company’s expectations. But many companies use biased hiring practices as part of their recruitment strategy. They often ask applicants to complete personality tests, which

  measure traits associated with specific jobs. Companies then compare applicant scores against each other to determine who should receive the job offer. Unfortunately, studies show that employers’ assessments of candidates using these methods aren’t very accurate. As a result, qualified individuals miss out on opportunities due to inaccurate evaluations.

2) Dating & Relationships – Many people assume that everyone else thinks and feels the same way they do. That means that they feel comfortable expressing themselves openly and honestly —

  especially when talking about sensitive topics such as money, sex, religion, etc. Yet research suggests that people actually hold different views on some issues. And while we try to hide these differences from others, they still exist within us. So why do so many couples argue about things that really shouldn’t matter? Because they haven’t learned to communicate effectively. Studies indicate that communication skills play a major role in determining whether a couple stays together or breaks apart.

3) Politics – Political campaigns are full of

  biases. Candidates may exaggerate certain aspects of their backgrounds to appeal to voters. Or they might downplay important details to win votes. Either way, political leaders can end up making poor decisions that affect millions of Americans. The problem is that most politicians have no idea how much influence unconscious biases have on their decision-making processes.

 What can I do to overcome my own biases?

The first step toward overcoming your own biases is recognizing what they are. Once you know what kind of thinking patterns cause them, you can start working on changing them. For instance, if you find yourself judging someone based solely on his/her appearance, you could practice being more open minded by asking yourself “what qualities make this person attractive?” You could even take an online course that teaches you new strategies for dealing with difficult situations.

The next step is learning how to recognize your biases before they get the best of you.

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