Here is a list of four methods that you can use to overcome your own biases.

  1. Reflect on past decisions
    If you’ve been in a similar situation before, you can reflect on the outcomes of those previous decisions to learn how to overcome your biases. An example of this is budgeting. We tend to underestimate how much money we need to budget for certain areas of our life. However, you can learn how much money to budget by tracking your expenditure for the last few months. Using this information from the past, you can better predict how much money you’ll need for different financial categories in the future. 
  2. Include external viewpoints
    There is some evidence that we make better decisions and negotiations when we consult with other people who are objective, such as mediators and facilitators (Caputo, 2016). Therefore, before making a decision, talk to other people to consider different viewpoints and have your own views challenged. Importantly, other people might spot your own cognitive biases.
  3. Challenge your viewpoints
    When making a decision, try to see the weaknesses in your thinking regardless of how small, unlikely, or inconsequential these weaknesses might seem. You can be more confident in your decision if it withstands serious, critical scrutiny.
  4. Do not make decisions under pressure
    A final way to protect yourself from relying on your cognitive biases is to avoid making any decisions under time pressure. Although it might not feel like it, there are very few instances when you need to make a decision immediately. Here are some tips for making a decision that can have substantial consequences:

          • Take the necessary time to ruminate.
          • List the pros and cons.
          • Talk to friends or family members for advice (but remember that they may have their own biases).
          • Try to poke holes in your reasoning.

Last modified: Wednesday, 11 August 2021, 6:28 PM