Reasons for Humility
After teaching Psychology for several years at a nearby University, I am more acquainted with my brain. I now believe I have a “Board of Directors'” meeting at Dave Beach: Cognitions, Interpretations, and Beliefs, Inc. whenever I make decisions. I've discovered that they're actually quite dysfunctional.
A partial list of my dysfunctional board of directors:
Dr. False Consensus Bias—he assumes other people perceive and interpret things exactly as he does.
Dr. Bandwagon Effect—he tends to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. (First cousin to Dr. False Consensus Bias)
Mr. Confirmation bias—he tends to search for and/or interpret information in a way that confirms his preconceptions.
Dr. Fundamental Attribution Error—he tends to interpret other people’s behavior as a result of their personality while his own behavior is merely his adpting to different situational influences.
Mr. Primacy Effect—he pays greater attention to initial stimuli or observations. If, for example, he sees a sufficiently long list of words, he is more likely to remember words read toward the beginning than words read in the middle. Think first impressions—very enduring. (If God is working redemptively in others’ lives, should not we be paying greater attention to recent updates?)
Ms. Catastrophizer—she tends to overstate the importance of negative events.
Sir Overgeneralizer—he tends to overestimate the frequency of an event, or make broad assumptions based on insufficient evidence.
Ms. Myth of Causation—she tends to interpret others as the direct cause of her emotions.
Mr. Need for Approval—he tends to believe he's OK only if everyone approves of him.
Sir Status Quo bias—he wants things to remain relatively the same (related to Loss aversion and Endowment effect).
Father Tyranny of the “shoulds”—he tends to believe others ought to think and behave in a way that fits his belief system.
Last, but most certainly not least, and currently serving as the chairman of the board, Dr. Bias Blind Spot—he tends to deny and, therefore, not compensate for his 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.