The brain is a very active part of our bodies and surprisingly resource intensive, making up about 2 percent of your body weight, but consuming 20 percent of your calories. Because of this, the human brain has evolved with numerous mechanisms in place to reduce energy consumption wherever possible.
People think that the decisions they make are driven by the conscience, but they’re not. The decisions we took are driven by the two mechanisms of the brain that controls the info and biases network – latent inhibition and cognitive biases.
While there are literally hundreds of cognitive biases, these seven play a significant role in making your decisions that can get you to success and in preventing you from achieving your full potential:
This occurs when you warp data to fit or support your existing beliefs or expectations. The effects are often found in religion, politics, and even science.
It influences our ability to look outside of our existing belief systems and will vastly limit your ability to grow and improve, both in business and in life. We need to consider more possibilities, and be more open to alternatives.
Also known as the “endowment effect”, loss aversion is a principle in behavioral economics whereby someone will work harder to keep something than they will to acquire it in the first place. This is also closely related to the sunk cost fallacy, where one is inclined to pump more resources into something based solely on the resources already expended.
If you need an example, being hesitant to fire a bad employee is a common one. You might think, “Well, I’ve already put so much time into training them, paying them, insuring them, and their performance isn’t really THAT bad…I should see if I can salvage this.”
Don’t make this mistake. When time or money is gone, it’s gone, and you need to consider the future without attachment to the past. Speaking of past and future…
The human brain has difficulty understanding probability and large numbers.
For example, there are many people who try to analyze the past performance of the stock market in order to pick future stocks that should be winners, usually with terrible results. This is a product of the Gambler’s Fallacy, and it can get you, your clients, and your businesses into a great deal of trouble.
We have to understand that, in most cases, past events don’t change the future unless you let them, so you need to take great care when attempting to learn from the past.
Just because you hear something frequently does not make it true, though the brain sure likes to believe otherwise.
Bad information seems to spread as fast, if not faster, than the truth, so you need to fact-check frequently before you make decisions based on bad information. Each one of us is responsable to find out the truth!
This one is fascinating! In a nutshell, how something is framed, positively or negatively, has an enormous impact on how the information is processed, even if the information is fundamentally identical.
For example, let’s say you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and two different doctors come to tell you what happens next:
Which doctor would you want to work with? Even though both are exactly the same, most people will pick Doctor A, because an 80 percent chance of recovery sounds way better than a 20 percent chance of death.
It’s important to carefully consider how you present information, because your method of presentation can make or break the success.
Just because many people believe something doesn’t make it true, though it does make it much easier for the brain to accept. In many ways, humans behave like herd animals, blindly accepting whatever they encounter as long as there seems to be some social proof.
It’s important not to allow the beliefs of others to sway you without careful thought and research on your part. Don’t accept things at face value!
Last but not least, this cognitive bias is at play behind arrogance and egotism. People have a psychological tendency to assess their abilities as much greater than they really are.
How do you conquer this?
Becoming aware of cognitive biases and the role they play in your life is one of the most critical steps to conquering, or at least mitigating, their negative effects.
After “7 Cognitive Biases That Are Holding You Back”
written by Sam McRoberts –VUDU Marketing CEO