Cognitive Bias

3 substantive This includes your initial post and 2 replies to other students. Be constructive and professional in your responses.

Respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words:

Which of the cognitive biases discussed in this section do you think you might be most subject to?

What might you do to compensate for this bias factor?

  • Some cognitive biases involve heuristics, general rules we unconsciously follow in estimating probabilities. An example is the availability heuristic, which involves unconsciously assigning a probability to a type of event on the basis of how often one thinks of events of that type. After watching multiple news reports of an earthquake or an airplane crash or a case of child abuse, thoughts of earthquakes and airplane crashes and child abuse will be in the front of one’s mind. Accordingly, one may overestimate their probability. True, if the probability of airplane crashes were to increase, then one might well think about airplane crashes more often; but it does not follow that if one thinks about them more often, their probability has increased.

Student 1-SA

Based on the section in my course material reading for this week, I believe that the cognitive bias that I am most subject to would be the negativity bias. During an argument, I find myself weighing in on the negative aspects as opposed to viewing both sides of the issue being argued. I believe that I do this because it is my intention to prepare for the negative outcome and hope for the positive. I know that from the outside looking in this bias can seem like a pessimistic outlook on life. However, I feel that this bias helps me to better prepare myself for life’s down curves. I am not a pessimistic person by nature. To be honest, I have been told by my wife that I am the positive one in the room with the patience of a saint. Preparing for the negative aspects of any situation provides me with a feeling of being proactive as opposed to be reactive. Being proactive helps one to prepare themselves and their family for the bad times that the world may bring. When the effects aren’t as bad as expected, it makes the positive aspect of life that much sweeter. I appreciate the little things in life because I am always preparing for the worst.

To compensate for this behavior, I think that it would be a good idea to be conscious of all elements of a situation and evaluate each side with equal optimism. In doing this I feel that I can draw a more rounded and rational conclusion without solely dwelling on the negativity of it.

Student 2 JM

Hello all,

How does ‘persuasion’ fit into teamwork efforts? All too often people think ‘collaboration’ means ‘agreement’ when the reality is through logical reasoning we may be able to help someone see a

different viewpoint. Of course we always need to be respectful of the opinions of anyone that has take the opposite side of our position. In fact, sometimes the concept of ‘good sportsmanship’ comes into play. Has there ever been a time where you have ‘lost’ a debate or argument in a collaborative effort? Why do you feel that you were not able to support your facts as well as the other person?

In general, what do you or anyone else feel is the difference between persuasion and forcing a change and how can critical thinking make a difference?

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