Stop being so Biased! Biases you should know

 

Stop Being so Biased!  Biases you should know

     If you're a human being, your mind is biased.  Don't try and tell me (or yourself) that you're not, you are.  This is not a sign of you being a bad person, it is just how our brains are constructed.  But if you know how your brain is biased, then you can take steps to actually be less biased or recognize when you are being biased.  It doesn't help when you can recognize when others are being biased, but at least it can help you.  Our ability to analyze information is one of the factors that makes us different from other animals, so let's try to maximize that power, by minimizing how our brain deceives us. 

Psychology can be such a B****

Fundamental attribution error:

     This is a big one and is part of the reason people attack YOU as a person when you do poorly.  Here is a good definition for us to use from Changingminds.org:

Description:

When we are trying to understand and explain what happens in social settings, we tend to view behavior as a particularly significant factor. We then tend to explain behavior in terms of internal disposition, such as personality traits, abilities, motives, etc. as opposed to external situational factors.

This can be due to our focus on the person more than their situation, about which we may know very little. We also know little about how they are interpreting the situation.

Western culture exacerbates this error, as we emphasize individual freedom and autonomy and are socialized to prefer dispositional factors to situational ones.

When we are playing the role of observer, which is largely when we look at others, we make this fundamental attribution error. When we are thinking about ourselves, however, we will tend to make situational attributions.

Explanation:

      What that is trying to say, is that when we view other people's actions, we judge that to be apart of who they are.  With little regard for what is going on around them.  Here's an example you can all relate too.

     Your playing top lane against Alistar jungle and your trying to be very careful, but Alistar says "HI!" at lvl 2 and burns your flash.  To keep from being denied further, you try to get in to farm.  Only Alistar had been waiting there for almost 20 seconds to gank you again.  This time, you die horribly and you know top is pretty much lost.  As the game continues, your lane opponent counter-jungles your jungler and ganks mid twice.  Your whole team proceeds to blame you for losing the game and feeding.  "You are a terrible top laner and just lost us the game you retard!"  They cry.  "Please go back to AI games, you suck."

     Sound familiar?  They attributed your loss top lane to you being bad and a moron.  You however, would likely direct everyone's attention to the fact that Alistar was left open and ganked you twice.  Observers, your teammates, will observe your actions (or rather the outcomes) and will attack your own person, while you will attribute it more to the situation than your own internal fault. 

     This is called the fundamental bias because it applies so much to the field of psychology and is found across the globe, across cultures.  It happens to everyone and we do it all the time.  Ever since I learned about this, I have taken the time to try to analyze the situation people find themselves in more than I used too.  It isn't perfect, but I never said I was. 

Confirmation Bias

     This is partly why it is nearly impossible to change someone's mind on the internet.  Syndra might not be OP, but good luck convincing someone of that on the forums if they start an OP thread. 

Definition once again taken from changingminds.org:

Description:
When we have made a decision or build a hypothesis, we will actively seek things which will confirm our decision or hypothesis. We will also avoid things which will disconfirm this. The alternative is to face the dissonance of being wrong.

We use this approach both for searching our memory and looking for things in the external world. This has also been called the Positive Test Strategy.

Confirmation bias has also been called Confirmatory Bias, Myside Bias and Verification Bias.

Explanation:

      What this definition says is that you have what you think about something and will search out evidence to confirm what you already think.   Once someone is convinced of something, it can be very hard to change their mind.  The community does this all the time, once a champion is considered OP, they will find reasons to confirm they are OP and vice-versa if that champion is not thought to be OP.  This is why it takes someone like Elementz (or other pro's) to really change opinions.  I know Elementz is a better player than me and he plays with people who I know are much better than me, which helps me to overcome the idea that I am wrong in my opinion.  But the fact it takes a Pro to change minds, shows how strong this bias can be.  Even then, many will disagree with him using ill founded logic to try to back up their own opinions. 

     You have all no doubt done something like this.  You have your opinions, your smarter than everyone else and know the truth better than they do.   And you just might, but we have to try to keep an open mind to avoid becoming "that guy" who doesn't know s*** but talks like he is god's gift to mankind. 

Conclusion:

     It is not my goal to lecture you all on psychology and all the bias's you could possibly have, that could be a university course in itself.  My goal is to point out some common biases that we see all the time and some ways to help mitigate them for ourselves, as we cannot change how others manage it.  Just knowing about them can help to avoid their worst aspects and I hope this has given you the ability to see some of our own flaws.  We are human after all.   

 

 

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