In a perfect world we know that we are rational thinkers and we make decisions based completely based upon logic and careful examination of facts. And perhaps this is the skill that gives your market research reports the credibility when you present it to the clients. But of course you know that it’s not true that there are many who let personal biases slip into their arguments and their work but you are a rational person although you let your personal judgement slightly slip into your arguments you always know that you keep most of them in check. If you are such a person then congratulations you have just become a victim of Bias Blind Spot.
With that I welcome you to the myriads
of cognitive bias. Cognitive biases is a certain way by which we make judgement and think. It’s the process by which our brains process information, unfortunately they have a way of clouding our judgement. And of course being a market researcher you must look to overcome these to provide a neutral judgement.
Now let’s look at some interesting biases:
1. Choice Supportive Bias:
Have you ever noticed some one brought a new piece of technology, and constantly brags about it and ascertains that it is the best? If not you can find them in the comments of any technology cantered blog’s comment section. This is known as the choice supportive bias
. It is the bias that makes an individual to only look and believe in the positive aspects of the product while ignoring the positive aspects of the competing product.2. Confirmation Bias:
Confirmation bias is the way by which we chose to prefer and favor the information that confirms our hypothesis and downplaying or outright rejecting any evidence to the contrary. This can lead us to have overconfidence on a wrong piece of information just because it aligns with our earlier theories and can make even believe ambiguous sources of data as the rightful truth.
3. Bandwagon Effect:
Probably the most commonly seen one, usually it can be seen in any group related activity. It refers to the thinking by which an individual makes decisions based on what others/peers have decided upon regardless of the contrary evidence. This can severely affect any collective decision making sessions.
4. Halo Effect:
Mostly seen in interviews and other personal evaluation sessions, Halo effect is the bias by which the person’s judgement can be influenced by one’s overall impression of him/her. This means that the assessor’s judgement can boil down to just a few parameters by which the assessor ranks all other traits of the individual.
5. Dunning-Kruger Effect:
Dubbed by Dunning and Kruger who won an IG Nobel Prize in psychology for their study of this bias is pretty interesting. This is basically the cognitive bias that prevents incompetent people to wrongly judge themselves as more competent than the really competent individuals. Dunning and Kruger
proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
- tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
- fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
- fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
- Recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.
Remember these are just the few of 100s of other such named biases, and since these are inherent to us (Read: our brains are lying to us), these may be difficult to find much less remove them, however we still can make an active effort to make sure to acknowledge the other side and try really hard not judge a book by its cover.