Ever find yourself defending or selling something that should be inherently obvious and valued? For example, pleading with a teenager to wake up for school, or justifying why a bonus is not up to the expectations of an employee.
What’s up with this? How can school fall to the rank of burden? Why is a bonus expected regardless of business circumstances?
Think about it. When you’re confronted by someone else, or even yourself, about how you could have forgotten to bring home the memo-pad (for list making, obviously), what is it that you really forgot? Did you stop in the moment and struggle to recall a specific item that you or another had previously reminded you about? Did you think this was so obvious that you couldn’t POSSIBLY forget it?
In psychology, ‘bias’ refers to predictable errors in perception. Here’s a simplified explanation of how bias works.
To start, everything we experience ‘beyond our skin’ is initially registered via our senses. After we sense something we begin to process it using our central nervous system, or brain (roughly speaking). This second process, resulting from the reception of the sensing process, is generally referred to as perception.
Once we perceive the input from our senses, a lot of “stuff” happens. Some of it is fully aware to us (i.e., conscious), some of it is not (i.e., unconscious). Whether conscious or unconscious, our brains actively interpret our (tasted, heard, seen, etc.) environment.
The interesting truth is: We don’t always interpret the “objective” world accurately. (We can know this because two people can perceive the same stimulus in different ways. If their is a ‘Truth”, both can’t be right; right?)
We’re all practicing psychologists — aren’t we? With our uncanny insight and intuition we’re able to ‘read’ another person in a mere 10 seconds. (This is, in fact, what research reveals about employment interviews). We know ourselves, and we know others. As a matter of fact, it’s intuitive — so simple we can do it with almost no thought. Therefore: We never make mistakes when assessing ourselves or others.
I’ve started this blog to share insights from psychological research and my own experience applying psychology in the workplace to let you in on some of the most predictable truths you can use to understand and change yourself and others. This is about understanding intuition.
I don’t intend this to be an academic journal, but will cite research or share personal experience lending support to my posts.