The world is inundated with bias.
Whether you’re talking about identity politics, health, religion or the weather, you’re almost certainly expressing your views from a bias of some sort.
So, what is bias?
Let’s look at the definition. Wikipedia defines cognitive bias as, “a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias)
Stated in another way, it’s the interpretation of a situation or a person that arises in a deviation from logical thought.
This begs the question then, “What is logic?”
Again, Wikipedia simplifies the definition by stating it as, “the analysis and appraisal of arguments.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic). Interestingly, though, the article acknowledges that the definition itself is still being debated some 2,300 years after the word was coined by Aristotle.
What does that say to you?
It says to me that the unsuccessful attempts to come up with a definitive definition of logic suggests bias is at play.
Try as we might, we as humans have not yet overcome the innate tendency to view the world from our personal, singular point of view. We have moments when we awaken to another point of view, and then we quickly retract back into our personal narrative.
Is it a function of our biological limitations? Do our biases change over time or are we stuck with them for life? Can we ever really free ourselves from bias?
I am biased in my own point of view when I say that anything is possible. I have witnessed the miraculous in myself and others to the extent that I have had to suspend my own beliefs about what’s possible.
Those who have not had the same experiences scoff at the notion. Their personal version of what is logical and rational offers a different view.
How do you explain evidence that defies logic? Who is right? Is this even the question to ask?
I want to propose an alternative way of looking at this. What if there is no right way of looking at experience? What if being attached to a “right” view wrongs other views?
We know that “right” is a subjective experience, inherently biased according to a particular point of view, that in its very essence makes it limited, one-dimensional and incomplete.
Why even bother to try to be right about anything? As humans, we get stuck in the endless loop of desperately trying and failing to come to consensus as our biases fight for the right to be right.
Woe betide anyone who dares to offer a divergent point of view that challenges the consensus. Confrontation with a collective bias opens you up to being beaten back with vitriol and venom. I know this from personal experience.
While this is unpleasant, I can forgive people for being unconscious. I can and regularly do forgive myself for being unconscious. After 20 years on the road of self-discovery, I know that each uncomfortable experience offers up the opportunity to discover something new about myself and human beings as a result.
And since we are being thrown about on the high seas of bias at the moment, I thought I would use this as an opportunity to educate myself, and those who are interested in joining me, in the world of bias by exploring a new one every week.
Starting with A, I will demystify the 90+ biases identified by psychologists that affect human thinking by examining the definition of an identified bias and illustrating how it manifests in life on a daily basis.
In the process, I will clear out the cupboards of my own bias, and in doing so, my aim will be to help you do the same.
As a mental health professional, I know that if I want to see transformation in the world, I have to BE it. That means doing my own work, being responsible for my own deviations from rational logic. That creates a clearing in me that provides a space in which you can transcend your own biased thinking.
My goal is to deepen my own knowledge of self and help you discover yourself through my sharing. Together, we can evolve our minds and our neurology beyond the current limiting narratives.
At the risk of being biased, my personal logic dictates that anything is possible. Want to discover how yours can be, too? Then follow my LinkedIn company account Business Brilliance, where I will be posting these posts on a weekly basis.
Ready for a rollercoaster ride of a lifetime? Let's go!