We all have biases – some we are aware of, but many we are not. These biases can affect the decisions that we make, but to what extent? How much are we influenced by these biases?
There are numerous studies which point out how our biases can affect our voting in presidential elections. Many of them discuss how our emotional appeal to a candidate can have a stronger influence upon us than our rational reasoning.
Presidential candidates have a whole team of people, helping them to perfect ways to entice your biases and sway your votes. From the way they speak, their body language, and even their hair style, they are being coached to exploit our biases.
Emotion will call people to action more than logical reasoning. Candidates fully utilize our emotional brain through the manipulation of our fears to gain a following.
So if our biases can have such a grand effect on our political positioning and voting habits, what other aspects of our lives are our biases influencing?
It’s easy to think that we are the exception to the rule and that we don’t have any biases, but the truth is everybody does. While some people may have more biases than others, the best way to manage these biases is to simply become aware of them.
One very common bias nearly everybody has is the negativity bias. This bias, which we inherited from our ancestors, once served as a means of survival. We became wired to be hyper-sensitive to threats which gave us the ability to sense danger at any given moment, elevating our chances to escape and survive. This once advantageous trait is now not so useful. Because of our negativity bias we can be highly affected by events we perceive to be negative, such as change. In fact, even when we experience a lot of positive events, one negative event can dramatically upset our mood. Negative events are more likely to draw our attention and have a stronger and more long-lasting impact on us, (which is something that candidates capitalize on). This negativity bias means that we feel overwhelmed, we see threats where none exist, and it can have deterrent effects on our career.
While our brains might perceive change or something new as scary or threatening, if we can learn to control, or even alter this bias we can actually maximize on the potential that changes or differences bring.
TRACOM’s Adaptive Mindset programs deliver strategies to challenge our automatic ways of thinking. Resiliency training give us the tools needed to recognize the biases that exist that deter us from utilizing change as an opportunity rather than a threat.
To learn more about Adaptive Mindset click here.
To learn more about Adaptive Mindset and bias-related research click here.