Avoiding Bias in Decision Making
It is estimated that we make 35,000 decisions every day. That's approximately one decision every 2 seconds. Choices include everything from what to eat to what to wear, what to believe to what to prioritize. Most of our decisions are made with out much effort or attention.
How do we ensure we are making the best decisions that are objective and fair, specially when the decisions are affecting other people? One way to tackle this is to be aware of circumstance that can trigger biased decisions. Research suggests there are four major moments when we are most likely to make biased decisions:
1. When the ambiguity is high (e.g, some factors are hard to quantify)
2. When there is compromised cognitive load (information overload) on the decision-making.
3. When the decisions are made with incomplete information (e.g. factors are hard to forecast)
4. When the decision-maker is over-confident in their ability to make an objective decision.
Start by being aware of such moments. You don't need to this for every decision: focus on the important ones, where the impact of bias on the outcome may have sever negative effects.