Reasons for Humility
Psychology for several years at a nearby University, I have begun to get acquainted with my brain. I now believe I have “Board
of Directors'” meetings at Dave Beach: Cognitions, Interpretations, and Beliefs, Inc. whenever I make decisions. They're actually quite dysfunctional,
A partial list of my dysfunctional board of directors:
Dr. False Consensus Bias—a
cognitive bias, who assumes other people perceive and interpret things exactly as I do.
Dr. Bandwagon Effect—the tendency to do (or
believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. (First cousin to Dr. False Consensus Bias)
Mr. Confirmation bias—the tendency
to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms my preconceptions.
Dr. Fundamental Attribution Error—the tendency to
interpret other people’s behavior as a result of their personality while failing to acknowledge potential situational
Primacy Effect—a cognitive bias that results from paying greater attention to initial stimuli or observations. If, for
example, I see a sufficiently long list of words, I am more likely to remember words read toward the beginning than words
read in the middle. (Think first impressions—very enduring. However, if
God is working redemptively in others’ lives, should not I be paying greater attention to recent updates?)
Ms. Catastrophizer—a tendency to overstate the importance of a negative event.
tendency to overestimate the frequency of an event, or make broad assumptions based on insufficient evidence.
Ms. Myth of Causation—a tendency
to interpret one person’s emotions as the direct result of another person’s actions.
Mr. Need for Approval—the tendency
to believe I’m OK only if everyone approves of me.
Sir Status Quo bias—the tendency to want things to remain relatively the
same (related to Loss aversion and Endowment effect).
Father Tyranny of the “shoulds”—the tendency to believe others ought
to think and behave in a way that fits my belief system.
Last, but most certainly not least, and currently serving as the chairman of
the board, Dr.
Bias Blind Spot—the tendency not to compensate for my own cognitive biases.
These are the directors with which
I’ve had the courage to get acquainted.
(There are several I have not met yet. They just seem too far out
of my comfort zone.)