Deciding on what is suitable for an organization can be an arduous task for a manager. Sometimes, one may use heuristics automatically and without being aware, which at times may be inappropriate, thus leading to biases. Besides this, one tends to overestimate their performance and think they are better than others (Schirrmeister, Göhring and Warnke, 2020). This kind of attitude in business can lead to business failure. Biases fall under a different category of heuristics, including availability, representative, confirmation, and overconfidence biases. As a manager, one needs to evaluate every piece of information, treating each case as a unique item to avoid biases. This paper expounds on four biases: ease of recall, the misconception of chance, the confirmation trap, and overprecision, which I am likely to experience in my during exercise.
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Ease of recall falls under the availability biases. Availability biases come through when a person has a propensity to base the judgment on easily recalled information. Ease of recall is based on the vividness of memory as a proxy for its likelihood. Tversky and Kahneman came up with this theory (Tversky and Kahneman, 1974). They concluded that people use a simplified strategy by tending to judge events based on a similar instance they recall or brought. Using vividness of information may affect one when deciding life. Although it seems like an easier way out for managers, it may lead them to make a pernicious decision for an organization. This is because they may choose people not based on their competence or ability because of some factors such as stereotyping attitude where one judges people based on the group instead of their characteristics (Bazerman and Moore, 2013). Others include an assumption that because a candidate has performed poorly in a specific area, they will do poorly in other areas. To avoid biases, I might use some strategy when conducting an interview or deciding about someone. Viable strategies concern using standardized questions for each candidate, grading the candidate’s performance on a rubric to avoid stereotyping, having an anonymous assignment, judging without identifying the candidate, and using multiple people during the interview process.
The misconception of chance is under representative heuristics and was coined by Tversky and Kahneman. This type of heuristic assumes that the probability of a specific occurrence is related to the likelihood of another similar event. It would hinder me from giving people an equal chance since everyone is not treated as an independent entity in their performance. The misconception of chance belief arises from a human mind which can detect patterns (Bazerman and Moore, 2013). They can recognize faces and understand the different characteristics of different individuals. This type of bias becomes a mental shortcut that makes people make decisions quickly, even in the face of uncertainty. Tversky and Kahneman (1974) believed that people should not overlook a sample of events that may be far more representative of a population than what is dictated by mere simple statistics. The Misconception of chance bias can affect a workplace in one way or another. It introduces unintentional discrimination, thus resulting in poor decision making, beside as a manager, I might find a person preferring candidates with similar characteristics and beliefs, believing that they will display similar performance (Bazerman and Moore, 2013). As a manager, the misconception of chance bias is my ultimate source of a false belief deviation. To avoid falling to a misconception of chance bias, I would avoid using gut in which they feel that a particular candidate is the best person. I would also recruit diverse people, giving everyone equal opportunities, thus finding the most qualified candidate.
Confirmation trap bias results from a confirmation heuristic. Individuals tend to interpret and search for evidence to support the conclusions they advocated or stood up for from the onset. In his theory of the Confirmation trap, Peter Wason states that one seeks information that aligns and confirms an individual belief rather than seeking disconfirming evidence (Bazerman and Moore, 2013). Therefore, the data obtained is one-sided. This can cause a catastrophic event in a workplace as this type of biases affect how one gathers information and influences how one interprets and recalls information. When one encounters information consistent with their beliefs, they tend to accept it with an open mind and glad heart, unlike the contracting information. This kind of bias can affect a manager as it limits their attention and cognitive processing (Cherry, 2020). They may end up giving credence as they conclude according to their desire of the ideal candidate to hire for a job, thus affecting the decision-making process (Bazerman and Moore, 2013). To avoid this kind of bias, I would have to accept different information with an open mind, even if I disagree. Therefore, I can learn a lot by debating their beliefs with those of the other person. In addition, I would keep information channels open. Closing on myself would not mean to follow what everyone is saying but being an apt learner in which, despite how much they know they still got room for more.
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Overprecion biases are under the overconfidence heuristic, which is the biggest of all the biases. It exploits a person’s mental belief that they are too confident that they know the truth. In addition, it involves an excessive view that one correct, a theory that was coined by Daniel Kahneman (Kahneman, 2013). This affects the manager as they lack interest in testing the assumption as they they are sure that they know the accurate answer or truth or the specific candidate to be hired by the organization (Moore and Healy, 2008). They can end up dismissing evidence presented to them by a candidate and suggest they are incorrect. However, this leads to overly narrow confidence intervals. To avoid these biases in my hiring process, I would be diligent in controlling personal feelings for specific candidates by giving you the likability of the individual using a numerical value. Besides, I would ask the candidates to take part in a sample test, thus effectively comparing the participant’s perspective to predict job performance’s future.
In conclusion, after a long period of interacting with different people in different situations while hiring a manager may become overconfident, one tends to feel that they know more and therefore can profile someone. This hampers equal opportunities for people. One assumes that a specific group of people have certain characteristics, such as working poor, while others are better regarded by their physical appearance from which one makes a judgment.
Bazerman, M. and Moore, D., 2013. Judgment in managerial decision-making. 8th ed. New York: Wiley, pp.31-59.
Cherry, K., 2020. How Cognitive Biases Influence How You Think and Act. [online] Verywell Mind. Available at: <https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-cognitive-bias-2794963> [Accessed 1 November 2021].
Kahneman, D., 2013. Thinking, fast and slow. 1st ed. New York, NY.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Moore, D. and Healy, P., 2008. The trouble with overconfidence. Psychological Review, 115(2), pp.502-517.
Schirrmeister, E., Göhring, A. and Warnke, P., 2020. Psychological biases and heuristics in the context of foresight and scenario processes. FUTURES & FORESIGHT SCIENCE, 2(2).
Tversky, A. and Kahneman, D., 1974. Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Science, 185(4157), pp.1124-1131.