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Word of the day - Bias

Bias - a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly

Everyone has biases, from frontline employees to c-suite executives. The common causes of bias can typically be traced back to these five things:

  • Our personal experiences and upbringing

  • The experiences of others, like our parents and friends

  • The cultures we live in and what is considered normal

  • The information we process (media)

  • Our education systems and what they value

Types of Unconscious Bias

Performance bias means those in “dominance” or “in groups” are judged on potential, while those in “out groups” are judged on accomplishments.

Performance attribution means one group is given more credit or judged more harshly than another for the same behavior.

Competency/Likability tradeoff People in an “out group” are seen as either competent or likable, but not both simultaneously.

Correspondence bias is the tendency to attribute the behavior of others to their disposition rather than situational factors. This bias is usually seen when one attributes another person’s behavior to stress, while assuming the same behavior, under the same circumstances, is a personality trait in someone else.

How to overcome unconscious bias

  • Disambiguate

  • Avoid snap decisions

  • Push back against default assumptions

  • Learn

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