Creative thinking: prejudices

28-10-2013 10:27

It seems that the human brain is capable of 10-16 processes per second. This makes the brain the most powerful computer that now exists. With these capabilities would we as people need to be able to solve the most difficult problems.

Problems that underlie every crisis can be tackled. Companies would devise innovative solutions can reach new markets and we would every war or poverty can make it go away with our own available thinking ability.

Unfortunately, the reality clearly see another side of the human brain. The man is full of prejudices (like this!). It is a much debated topic in the public administration, because of its role in making important decisions.

These prejudices are common: "bandwagon effect" this is a common bias in group work. If many people accept as the truth an idea, chances are that others also do this. A kind of peer pressure, because the more people "know" the more likely it is that it is actually true. While of course not at all true, it turns out only that people be affected by social pressure and rapidly conform to another. This "bandwagon effect" is therefore also often seen with trends that arise in relationship. 

"Hindsight bias" This is the verdict what one has about the past, especially with regard on the predictability of an event. If you post look back, it seems all quite predictable, while at that time itself seems not altogether predictable. This prejudice limited people to a rational decision to make because it is convinced that something may happen in the future, also be predicted. A good example is the definition of the success of entrepreneurs, in retrospect it seems a laid down process, where the entrepreneur makes the right decisions at the right time. While this is correct is a chaotic process, and the entrepreneur makes ad hoc decisions that turn out alright. This is also closely linked to the following prejudice.

"survivors effect" this effect means that only the "survivor" remains. That is, one gets a warped image of reality because only the success stories. It leads to optimism because failures and the role of coincidences to be ignored. The entrepreneur may have had luck by at the right a good decision to make, but hundreds of others who have gone bankrupt are ignored.

"Myopia bias" one sees and interprets the world through the lens of their own limited experiences, norms and values. This makes it difficult to understand other people's look, whereby one information goes wrong to make a decision that takes into account different points of view.

"Presumptuously" if one is overconfident, information less well reviewed and does one through with a decision despite multiple signs show that it can go wrong. A collective example of willingness to take risks in combination with the "bandwagon effect" are the gigantic risks that have been taken in the banking sector which form the basis of the current economic crisis.


To ensure that these prejudices the negative influence on the decisions we make, it is important to be critical and to be aware of these prejudices. It is easier to recognize than an error in another in yourself. Cooperation, reflection and open discussions offer a solution here. Through these elements can a man just what more capacity from the human brain!

Do you have other tips to counteract prejudices? Let us know and share it, for example, about blog and earn there being by your experiences. Do you want to know how I do that? Then click on the button below.