“Oh, the irony. Cognitive Biases prevent us from understanding cognitive biases.” – Eric Barker, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree”
Cognitive biases are unconscious errors in thinking that arise from problems related to memory, attention or other mental mistakes. Essentially, how do we attribute these mental experiences? As is pointed out in the initial quote, lacking the ability to reflect on oneself perpetuates the cognitive biases.
The list of cognitive biases of very long and growing. Below is a small selection for illustrative purposes:
There are lists with over 50 biases, and many can be broken down into further ones. The bottom line is that biases are imbalances and they prevent us from discovering our authenticity and thus preventing us from pursuing our true purpose. Taking action to truly reflect on oneself we can start to observe these biases within ourselves
Cognitive biases come from our conditionings through society, religion, community, parents, etc, and are reinforced by own experiences. Questioning these is a challenge, but many times we come upon experiences where we are given little choice and that awakening is an opportunity to start the healing process.
To some degree, we all have these biases so now that we have that level of awareness, we have this opportunity to start reflecting on ourselves. Some good places to start looking are:
Once we discover our biases we can initiate practices to remove them:
These are simply some broad actions and by no means and exhaustive list of practices. However, they provide starting points to discover our cognitive biases. When we do this we open up new vistas of flavour to enrichen our lives.