Prejudiced thoughts run through all our minds — the key is what we do with them
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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 we can combat it.
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.
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:
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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.
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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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The mind's power over you is an illusion. For instance, say one thing while doing the opposite. You will find that it is possible to do the opposite of what you are thinking. (For example, type, I cannot type this sentence, while you are typing the sentence.) Regularly doing this exercise can give you more freedom to do hard things.
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In addition, a network has ties between people.
The connections between individuals are what changes a group to a network.
You may think it was your idea to keep your desk neat or speak up in a meeting, but your behavior was likely influenced by those in your network.
Once we understand social networks, we can use its power to shape workplaces for the better. You can turn an unhappy team into an innovative, collaborative one.
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Instead of making decisions based on facts and data, you ...
The brain creates shortcuts in order to make fast decisions when it hits information or inspiration overload.
These shortcuts form unconscious biases so it’s easier for your brain to categorize information and make quick judgments over and over again.
This means that when something good happens, you take the credit, but when something bad happens, you blame it on external factors.
Self-serving bias may manifest at work when you receive critical feedback. Instead of keeping an open mind, you may put up a defense when your manager or team member is sharing feedback or constructive criticism.
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Take language away, and the amount of information you can acquire decreases.
Many deaf children born into hearing families live in a world unable to communicate properly. They are never exposed to abstract ideas such as "justice" or "global warming." Unless the parents learn sign language, the child's language access will be delayed or missing entirely.
The lack of language affects even functions like math. Keeping track of exact numbers above four requires knowing the words for these numbers. The language-number interdependency means many deaf children in industrialized societies fall behind in math because they did not learn to count.
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