Unconscious Bias - Deepstash

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What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias refers to unconscious forms of discrimination and stereotyping. Unconscious bias often leads to discrimination, be it deliberate or unintentional.

Unconscious bias is different from cognitive biases. Cognitive biases relate to our brains' particular wiring, while unconscious bias refers to perceptions between different groups and are specific to different societies.

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What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

https://www.lifehack.org/877952/unconscious-bias

lifehack.org

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Key Ideas

Cognitive Bias

Cognitive Bias is a predictable pattern of mental errors where we misperceive reality and move away from the most likely way of reaching our goals.

These mental blind spots impact all areas of life. Cognitive biases have to do with judgment, not mood.

How to Reduce Unconscious Bias

  • Recognise that the unconscious bias is a systemic issue. Internal cultures need to be checked and addressed first.
  • There is no shame or guilt in unconscious bias. Unconscious bias stems from our tendency to categorise people into social groups and often doesn't match our conscious values.
  • It takes a series of conversations and interventions to prevent and protect against unconscious bias.

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The egocentric bias
The egocentric bias

It is a cognitive bias that causes people to rely too much on their own point of view when they examine or remember events in their life.

This means that people tend to either underest...

Examples of the egocentric bias
  • When you are giving a public talk, you assume that your nervousness is more apparent to others than is actually the case.
  • You overestimate the amount of work that you contributed to a group project.
  • You might believe that your colleagues all share your political beliefs and social values.
  • You might remember yourself as having been the key player in a past event, despite the fact that you only played a relatively minor role in it.
What causes the egocentric bias

It occurs primarily due to the fact that we tend to naturally examine and remember events primarily through our personal point of view.

Even when we realize that we should adjust our perspective to see things through other people’s eyes, we tend to anchor this new perspective to our own, and we often fail to adjust from our original viewpoint enough to properly assess how other people feel.

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Prejudice is inside us all
Prejudice is inside us all

Prejudice stems in part from cultural learning, our parents, our schools, and social messages in the media. Prejudice is also deeply embedded in our thought networks.

The good news is that ...

Negative stereotypes are lodged in our cognitive network

They pop up to do mischief, even when you're not conscious of it.

We can learn to recognize bias in ourselves and reduce the harmful impact of that part of ourselves by applying acceptance and commitment therapy. It focuses on developing psychological flexibility. When we investigate our implicit biases, we become more aware of them and can bring our actions in line with our conscious beliefs.

Authoritarian distancing

All forms of prejudice can be explained by what’s called authoritarian distancing - the belief that we are different from some group. Because they are different, they represent a threat we need to control.

When people adopt authoritarian distancing, they display three characteristics:

  • The inability to take the perspective of other people.
  • The inability to feel the pain of other people when you take their perspective.
  • The inability to be emotionally open to the pain of others when you do feel it.

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The negativity bias
The negativity bias

The negativity bias happens when a person dwells on a negative event for a long period of time.

We tend to register negative stimuli every time we go through displeasing si...

Signs of the negativity bias
  • Negative experiences constantly cross your mind more than positive ones.
  • You tend to relive insults more than praise.
  • You're able to recall traumatic situations better than positive events.
What evolution shows about the negativity bias

Paying attention to your surroundings is a typical human behavior exhibiting the will to survive. Being wary about the environment that you are in will make you more likely to survive and pass on your genes.

However, in the current era having negativity bias actually inhibits us to think rationally and make the right decisions.

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