Protective Mothers' Alliance International

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Archive for the ‘bias’ Category

Beyond Bias; Tips For Protective Mothers

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PMA has previously posted links and articles about developing critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is especially helpful in healing from the damaging effects of abuse, as it can help you to identify the controlling and deceitful tactics of the abuser so you can begin to heal, and re-establish your identity free of violence. Taught to children, critical thinking contributes to healthy self-esteem and the ability to think independently Critical thinking skills may also be a buffer against DV By Proxy. PMA INTL will go further down this path by discussing BIAS.

Identifying and dealing with bias involves the use of critical thinking skills; this article will reveal the different types of bias and discuss how bias affects a person’s ability to see the world as it really is. Some bias is a normal part of life, to some degree everyone has bias; but left unchecked bias can damage the ability to think rationally, and damage the ability to develop healthy relationships with others. For traumatized protective mothers recognizing personal bias and using critical thinking skills, may help protect against re- victimization and manipulations from any source. This article will offer tips on how to prevent bias from becoming an unhealthy influence, again using critical thinking as a powerful tool for self empowerment.

http://www.criticalthinking.org/

Bias is defined as prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Nowhere is it more crucial for information to be precise than in the intelligence community. In this arena it is a matter of life , death and global peace to be certain that information received is exact and not viewed from the lens of biased eyes. Yet, there have always been problems associated with the accurate analysis of information within the intelligence community. These problems always occur because the human mind is easily influenced by many factors in the environment. In the case of the Cold War, these factors contributed to problems and failures in intelligence. Biases and perceptions can lead to a misconstrued view of reality and the way we process information. http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/bias-and-perception-how-it-affects-our-judgment-in-decision-making-and-analysis

What is Psychological Bias?

Psychologists Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic, and Amos Tversky introduced the concept of psychological bias in the early 1970s. They published their findings in their 1982 book, “Judgment Under Uncertainty.”

They discovered that psychological bias – also known as cognitive bias – is the inclination to make decisions or take action in a less than logical way.

Common Psychological Biases

Below, are five psychological biases that are common in decision making. Along with suggestions on how to overcome them

1. Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is looking for information that supports your existing beliefs, and rejecting information that go against your beliefs. A 2013 study found that confirmation bias can affect the way that people view statistics. This can lead you to make biased decisions, since all relevant information is not factored in to your decision.

How to Avoid Confirmation Bias

1. Seek out information from a range of sources, to challenge what you think and learn more about a subject.

2. Use an approach such as the ‘Six Thinking Hats” technique to consider situations from various perspectives. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm

3. Discuss your thoughts with others. You may consider joining a club, attending community ed or attending an open mic or jam session as way to participate in or hear lively discussions.

4. Surround yourself with a diverse group of people. You may consider going to community or religious celebrations different than your own, visiting museums/historical sites or volunteering in your community to be exposed to new experiences.

5.Listen to opposing views. This could be as simple as listening to a radio station you have never heard before, or taking the time to talk with a rebellious teenager (kidding).

6.Seek out people and information that challenge your opinions, please use boundaries (especially if you have a history of abuse) to ensure the conversations remain respectful as well as enjoyable.

7.Assign someone you trust to give feedback for major decisions or decisions you struggle with.

2. Anchoring (“ first impression bias”)

This bias is the tendency to jump to conclusions before all the facts are gathered.

How to Avoid Anchoring

Anchoring may happen if you have a tendency to act hastily or are under pressure to make a decision.

NOTE: This is different from the triggers victims of abuse commonly experience; triggers are reactions to past trauma that cause a chemical reaction in the body, causing a person to relive the or experience flashbacks of trauma. A person reacting to a trigger is not biased, though they do experience intense pressure or anxiety it is related to something that has caused them to re-experience or remember a painful event. This is NOT a bias.

1.Reflect on your history, and think about times when you have a past history of rushing to judgment

2.Make decisions slowly, use relaxation or calming techniques if you need (deep breath, music, positive affirmations, etc.)

3. Ask for longer time for decision making. (If someone is pressing aggressively for a decision, this can be a sign that the thing they’re pushing for is against your best interests.)

3. Overconfidence Bias

Placing too much faith in your own knowledge. Believing that your contribution to a decision is more valuable than it actually is.

How to Avoid Overconfidence Bias

Consider the following questions:

1.What sources of information do you tend to rely on when you make decisions?

2 Are these fact-based, or do you rely on hunches?

3. Who else is involved in gathering information?

4.Has information been gathered systematically?

Consider what you can do to gather comprehensive, objective data, if you feel your information has been unreliable.

4. Gambler’s Fallacy

With the gambler’s fallacy, you expect past success to always influence the future

In fact, outcomes are highly uncertain. The number of successes that you’ve had previously has a small impact on the future.

How to Avoid Gambler’s Fallacy

1. Look at trends from a number of angles, especially those that challenge past events.

2. Look deep into data, research, studies.

5. Fundamental Attribution Error

Blaming others when things go wrong, instead of looking objectively at the situation. Blaming or judging someone based on a stereotype or a perceived personality flaw.

How to Avoid Fundamental Attribution Error

1.Look at situations, and the people involved in them, non-judgmentally.

2. Use empathy

3. Look at situations from a cultural perspective, if appropriate..

It’s hard to spot psychological bias in ourselves because it often comes from subconscious thinking.
For this reason, it can often be unwise to make major decisions on your own.
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/avoiding-psychological-bias.htm

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