10 Biases that Will Mess With Your Mind

When people are overly reliant on the first information they receive. My father had a bad experience with an African-American student in elementary school. He let this experience turn him into a racist as an adult.

The overreliance on data based on similar experiences, people and values. This prevents inclusion since people, who look like each other, talk like each other and act like each other create homogeneous organizations that rarely question themselves.

Bandwagon Effect
The likelihood that a person will adopt a different belief based on how many people in the group has a similar conviction. I was the only introvert on a team of extroverts. I had to practice my personality opposite as an extrovert to feel connected to my colleagues.

The failure to recognize our own biases. The Harvard Implicit Association Test has shown that African Americans, LBGTQ, and the elderly show more bias regarding members of their own groups than they did toward Whites, straight people and the young.

When we make decisions based on positivity even though we know the assumption has flaws. My supervisor tends to make racist remarks but she likes me so I will not confront her on her negative attributes.

We all have a tendency to associate patterns with arbitrary events by creating illusions about our experiences with those incidents. In the last month, two Asian American female drivers have cut me off in traffic. Therefore, all Asian American female drivers are dangerous.

We tend to listen to information that confirms our preconceptions about a subject and ignore data that challenges predetermined notions. My faith informs me that homosexuality is a sin which motivated me to lobby against legislation to legalize same sex marriage.

We will favor earlier evidence in making decisions by ignoring newer and more accurate information. Most school children are taught that Columbus discovered the USA. The fact of matter is indigenous people inhabited our continent long before Columbus arrived in our hemisphere.

Ostrich Effect
We will disregard negative information by overlooking it. Our favorite political candidate may make racist and sexist comments on the campaign trail. I will ignore those actions since I like their position on economic issues.

Selective Perception
We sometimes allow our expectations regarding an event to cloud our perception of it in real time. My friend claimed his mostly White team lost to a predominately African American team because the African American officials cheated during the game. Could it be the African American team was just better than the White team?

How have some of these biases made your workplace less inclusive?

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