Cognitive is a word relating to cognition, which is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. It is our way of discerning what is going on around us. It is basically the way we mentally process information around us to gain understanding.
Cognitive Biases, therefore, are unconscious inclinations or prejudices that are based on our historical environment and psychological development and in this way, they limit our way of interacting with the people and situations around us, and they deny us our full human experience.
When we become aware of the existence of cognitive biases, it becomes easier to break their hold by noticing when we are defaulting to that mode of thinking.
Confirmation Bias is one type of cognitive bias that refers to the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.
When you default to that mode of thinking, you tend to approve ideas that confirm what you already know, thus staying within your comfort zone and rejeting ideas that are totally new or unfamiliar.
In order to negate the effects of confirmation bias, it helps to detach from your usual way of thinking by asking yourself a few questions:
- Am I selecting this idea because it sits within my comfort zone?
- Am I taking the path of least resistance?
- How can I break down this idea into its various components to make its adoption easier?
Hope this helps you to push your thinking into more courageous territory.