How bias affects decision making

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Bias does affect decision making in many ways. Some of them can be quite subtle. Bias can affect:

  • how we see people
  • how we react to people and how friendly we will be towards them
  • how much attention we give an individual
  • how much we actively listen to an individual
  • how much we comfort an individual in certain situations

Is there a chance you may feel negatively towards someone without a valid reason? Or can you think of anyone you simply dislike or feel uncomfortable around but you cannot think why? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself.

  • Is it because they have a different style, way of working to me?
  • Is it because they remind me of somebody else?
  • Have I made deep-rooted assumptions about the individual’s abilities?
  • Is it because I grew up with this opinion and I have never questioned or challenged myself about it before?
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Activity

As another way of reflecting upon bias, here is another activity you could do. Review the different types of bias outlined in the previous section and try to think about any examples of these biases that you have experienced or seen.