3 of 180 Biases; Test Assumptions

February 16, 2020

180 Biases; Testing assumptions to improve accountability Part II

As outlined in 4 Tips for Personal Accountability, self-management improves accountability. Setting and accomplishing micro-goals, staying focused, identifying strengths and weaknesses and seeking feedback can support self-management. Interestingly enough, understanding the biases you have and believe are equally important as the previously defined tips.

What are biases in general?

Biases are defined as a preference in favor of or against a thing, person, or group compared with another; it may be held by an individual, a group, or an institution; it can have negative or positive consequences.

Contrary to popular belief, biases aren’t always centered around gender and/or race. And it’s not about just disliking certain groups.

Really? 180 biases?

In total, there are 180+ cognitive biases that mess with how we process data, think critically, and perceive reality.

While we won’t cover all 180 biases, there are a few that veterinary team members may believe in which, in turn, impacts their view of being held accountable within the veterinary hospital setting.

Following are a few examples we feel apply:

Groupthink = let the social dynamics of a group situation override the best outcomes. After all, it’s uncomfortable and can harm your social standing if you challenge the first and strongest voice. Rather than openly contradict others, attempt to facilitate an objective way to evaluate the decision.

Time = Why do we do something a certain way? Because it’s always been done that way.  Perceived bias that we don’t have the time to remake the process – keeps us in a limiting zone because we don’t take the time to reinvent ourselves.

Spotlight effect = overestimate how much people notice how you look and act.  After all, in the general world, most people are more concerned about themselves than they are about you.

This may be difficult to wrap your head around, and we only mentioned a few. It’s not easy to dissect the many concepts we have assumed to be right in our life. Yes, testing assumptions (biases) can be hugely beneficial when the plan is to improve accountability.

You have biases, accept this as a normal function of your brain. But don’t allow it (your bias) to make your final decisions, test assumptions.

Yours in Cognitive Biases,

Rebecca Rose, CVT

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1 The Cognitive Bias Codex: A Visual Of 180+ Cognitive Biases, TeachThought,

2 Here are 24 cognitive biases that are warping your perception of reality.