For my first of many Psychology notes, I'd like to start off with cognitive biases. They are fascinating and have tremendous impact on us and our society.
What are Cognitive Biases?
Cognitive biases are common thinking errors that the human mind engages in—repeatedly. Awareness of them can help us better operate in the world around us, and avoid acting in ways that are detrimental to our successes.
I, myself, have engaged in Cognitive Biases that have had detrimental effects on my personal growth and others' growth. Take for example the Modesty Bias.
Cognitive Bias: Modesty Bias
Modesty bias is a cognitive error when you attribute failures to yourself, or your decisions, while attributing successes to situations/factors outside of yourself. There are many reasons for this. For example, you are reluctant to accept responsibility for the success of your team. You may engage in a modesty bias because you fear being seen as arrogant; or you fear what responsibilities success might entail; or you fear that a spotlight on you might expose your deficiencies and flaws.
It's important to note that this thinking error happens so fluidly. It's subtle. Fast. And often so natural that you are not aware of its occurrence. Probably because modesty has become your habit (which most cognitive biases are).
Whatever the reason is, engaging in modesty bias too much is detrimental to your success in any pursuit. You may be naturally modest, or you may want to be modest for strategic reasons, but too much of it is not good! What if your actions are really the reason for your team's success? Shouldn't you take responsibility for it instead of deflecting? Are you not deserving of the admirations of others?
Next time you achieve something, observe yourself. And instead of being modest, refrain and just say thank you. You don't have to be obnoxious, but accept compliments coming your way. Let's see what happens.
For a full lists of cognitive biases, click here.