There are things we believe to be true – some that we are aware of, and other beliefs that are unconscious to us. These unconscious beliefs act as filters for what we notice and what we don’t notice, and are referred to as ‘cognitive biases’.
Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics arising from his study on how often we do irrational things – in other words our susceptibility to cognitive bias! Three examples include:
- Confirmation bias – we tend to notice only information that confirms our preconceptions.
- Availability bias – causes us to reach for the easiest option which is available (but may be wrong)
- Self-interest bias – we are influenced to make self-serving decisions even in the face of conflicting data
The topic of cognitive bias fascinates me, and I could write pages on it… Rather than do that, here are two short videos that challenged my unconscious beliefs. I hope they challenge you too, and provide some inspiration as well.
The backwards brain bicycle
I love this seemingly simple challenge from the geeky Destin of Smarter Every Day. It highlights how hard it can be to ‘unlearn’ what we know. This clip was shared with me after I ran a training program on ‘Choiceful Leadership’. Thanks Claire, who brought it to my attention, saying this ‘makes you think about the bias with which we view the world and that knowledge is not equal to understanding’.
Music that seems to defy its origins
Call me uncultured, but I have never been excited about the idea of listening to the music of two cellos… Until my husband insisted I listen to this and my notions about the potential of these instruments were seriously disturbed. Trust me – it’s well worth the 4:58 minute investment!
How might unconscious bias be limiting you, or impacting on the potential of those around you? Let me know here.