Recovery Plus: Workplace wellbeing 66 September 2016 What stops us acting? If we look at cognitive bias by the problem it's trying to solve, we can understand why each exists, how they're useful – and the errors they introduce. Buster Benson reveals the logic There are four giant problems our brains evolved to deal with over the last few million years: ÂÂ information overload sucks, so we overly filter ÂÂ lack of meaning is confusing, so we fill in gaps ÂÂ need to act fast lest we lose our chance, so we jump to conclusions, and ÂÂ for ease, we remember mostly important bits. Sounds useful! So what’s the downside? First, we don’t see everything. Some of the information we filter out is actually useful and important. Second, our search for meaning can conjure illusions: we can imagine details that were filled in by our assumptions, and construct meaning and stories that aren’t really there. Third, some of the quick reactions and decisions we jump to are unfair, self-serving, and counterproductive. Finally, our memory reinforces errors. It can make these systems more biased, and more damaging to our thought processes. ÂÂ Read more logic (and access a larger mandala) at https://betterhumans.coach.me/cognitivebias cheat-sheet-55a472476b18#.1jwu9vbaa. About the author Buster Benson is product manager at Slack Technologies and was product manager at Twitter. He founded Health Month and cofounded The Robot Co-op and McLeod Residence. He studied english/creative writing at University of Washington, and genetic biology (transferred to UW after 1 year at UC Berkeley). He is editor of Better Humans, among others.
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