Different Types of Biases
As social creatures, we have a habit of letting our emotions define us. We let our emotions define our personalities, thought processes, actions and our version of truth. Letting our emotions take over is dangerous because this could lead to irrationality and different biases.
Our emotions can make us delusional beings. Sometimes we thought what we feel is correct, but the truth is this feeling soothes our ego. This feeling makes us feel superior from others.
We love to do this because it leads us to the path of least resistance. We love taking this path because we don’t like to be challenged or face adversity. However, we can’t grow and improve by taking this path.
To change this type of attitude and emotional pattern, we have two tasks. First, we should be knowledgeable about the different biases. Second, we should know the biases we have.
Here are the different types of biases:
In today’s world, we are bombarded by news 24/7. Sometimes we believe in what we see, sometimes we don’t. We believe what we see because it is “confirmed or given” to us by mainstream media, a high-ranking official and someone we trust the most without knowing more details. This is an example of confirmation bias. For us to know the truth about what these people are saying to us, we must do our part. We need to use the technology that we have to find evidence and confirm if they are telling the truth.
We can see this happening in our world right now. Everyone is in a state of confusion. Their beliefs conflict with each other. If you are one of these people, you must take a step back and find evidence.
Keep in mind: There is only one truth.
We love to hold on to certain ideas and beliefs that deep down we know that this “idea” we hold on to is wrong and not the truth. So keeping ourselves from believing in this “idea” we do everything we have to convince ourselves. In the worst-case scenario, we encourage our peers to have the same belief systems with us as well (more on this on “group bias”). We can see this bias when we are asked about the people we idolize, religious beliefs, politics, etc.
We always have biases on appearance of other people. This is a fact. We are trained to respect and show good manners who present themselves appropriately. People who are good-looking have this aura they bring that they are trustworthy, hardworking, and have other good qualities. However, don’t let their appearance fool you. Sometimes these people use their appearance as a mask. They may look good, but their attitude and characteristics are the opposite.
The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies to this bias. Watch their actions and how they treat other people. Non - verbal communication exposes their true identity.
The feeling of isolation and difference from the group terrifies us. That is why we always search for people who have the same quality, ideas and beliefs. When we find these groups of people, we suddenly feel the motivation because of the relief they give us. We are unaware of this pull because we are social creatures.
A perfect example of this is our school system. The moment we enter school, we are taught to conform to authority. Questioning the authority can lead to suspension and expulsion. Although there are other schools that are open to other forms of ideas, most of them still teach their students to conform.
In worse case scenarios, there are schools who are very politically correct. They indoctrinate students stating that what they is a fact not an opinion.
To avoid this bias, we must learn to think for our own. We have free will. We must learn how to use it. We must question ourselves if joining this certain group is correct and what will we gain from it. Is it popularity? Grades? Is it self-improvement?
The blame bias exists everywhere we look. People blame everything for their failures in life. They blame the system, the government, environment, peers, parents, race, gender and everything they can point a finger on. They play the blame game and have victimhood mentality.
All of us have this bias and sometimes we are unaware of this. What we forget to realize is that our actions plays a role in the failure and experience we get. We forget that everything we do is a choice. Blaming things or people out of our control is a waste of energy and time.
Keep in mind: To avoid this bias, learn accountability and responsibility. If we ever face failure, use that as a learning lesson and experience.
This bias exists to people older than us. They feel superior because of their age, experience, professional and social status. There’s nothing wrong when we feel superior to others; however, too much superiority can lead to grandiose and egoistic attitude. We must open ourselves to ideas, suggestions, and opinions of other people. Becoming a rational person is achieved through awareness, effort, and maturation process.
Understand: Our achievements can make us superior on our niche, but we must learn to be humble and remember who we are before our achievements.