Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Biases

Are you aware of a few of your idiosyncrasies?

We behave according to the biases we accumulated from our environment. Idiosyncrasies are the norm in life. Even when we become conscious of a few of our biases, it is doubtful that we get the necessary stamina to change.

We’re all biased species. It becomes an unconscious behavior. Our experiences (and idee-fixe in our surrounding) shape who we are.

The perception of our race, ethnicity, gender, height, weight, sexual orientation, place of birth, and other factors impact the lens with which we view the world.

How can we recognize and acknowledge our own biases? Does identifying our kinds of biases (like affinity bias, halo bias, perception bias, and confirmation bias) make a difference in our daily decisions or change our viewpoints?

It is important to make a distinction between 3 broadly different approaches: objective, polemic, and deceptive. This distinction isn’t metaphysical. It’s a question of intent.

In order to discriminate among fake news, facts, objective statement, value judgment… we require vast general knowledge in many fields of study and apply our experimental mind on each subject matter. Otherwise, people will offer the excuse of “common sense” to absolve their laziness in the mind

It is Not an easy endeavor that should span a lifetime and be conducted with the passion of learning, credibility, fairness in treating readers…

Note: I usually edit any piece in my own style and add comments.

Biases All the Way Down, Some Biases are More Troublesome Than Others

danielwalldammit posted on wordpess.com

When I listen to people complaining about indoctrination in the schools or dismissing perfectly sound journalism by chanting the mantra “fake news,” I’m always struck by the hopelessness of trying to reason with them.

Phrases like “just the facts” spill from their mouths, their keyboards, and their keypads quite often, and not a few of them are happy to remind us that facts do not care about our feelings.

These phrases do not usually convey skepticism.

They do not challenge us to provide evidence or compelling reason. Instead, they signal an absolute barrier to any hope of meaningful communication.

These phrases did not become popular in the American political vocabulary because they help to explain the problem with erroneous or dishonest journalism.

Nor have these phrases been generally used to correct flawed textbooks or abusive teachers.

As they are commonly used in America today, these phrases consistently provide thoughtless people with a shield against unwelcome information.

As I listen to such folks talk, or read anything they write, I can’t help thinking those who find nothing but bias in academia or mainstream news are often the same folks who speak of objectivity in terms of the most naive realism.

They think Facticity is part of their cultural capital, they own it, and so they invoke it freely in encounters with others.

Ask these people what it means to do a good job as a teacher or a journalist, a documentary film-maker, etc. and they will describe an absolute devotion to facts coupled with a complete absence of subjectivity.

They have few thoughts as to how that works, but the goal seems pretty obvious to them.

If pressed, some might concede that such an account of any given subject never really happens, but they are likely to insist that it should be an ideal of sorts, a goal to which one ought to aspire.

They don’t understand that the ideal itself isn’t even coherent. You cannot describe a fact without injecting yourself into the description.

Even the facts you choose to relate reflect a choice and a value statement about what is and what is not important in a story. So, does the language you use to describe those facts, and of course the conclusions you draw from whatever you take to be the settled facts of a story also reflect all sorts of choices about what lessons might be worth learning from the world around us.

We never actually get a purely factual account of anything; we can’t even conceive of it in the abstract, because the most rigorous visions of evidence-based reasoning are themselves saturated with value judgements and personal biases.

If objectivity is meaningful at all, it is as a element in relation to subjectivity, (or perhaps inter-subjectivity), not as a pair of alternatives from which we choose. We can speak of an object only in relation to a subject. To imagine the one without the other is to indulge in fiction.

To those who suppose this fictional objectivity is reality, I suppose it is the rhetorical equivalent to reality television, a pretense to veracity offered with a smirk and wink even as any claims to meet that standard unravels unravels around us.

This naive realism goes hand in hand with a pan-partisanship in the consumption of information.

As nobody ever actually meets these impossible standards of objectivity, it provides a ready excuse to dismiss any information one doesn’t wish to hear.

You can always pick apart the choices other people make when they try to state facts. You can quibble over the language they use to express themselves or ask why they think this fact here is important and not that one there? Nobody meets the standard in actual practice, so each and every source of information comes ready-made with all manner of excuses for rejecting it. One has only to make exceptions for those one wishes to keep after all. If those exceptions seem selective, well then, by what standard would anyone presume to make such a judgement?

All of this leaves us with is a sense of bias which provides license for more of the same, and a way of talking about bias that reduces everyone and every approach to information to the level of open partisanship and nothing but partisanship.

All biases are equal in this mindset, because those adopting it do not really think about how one sorts a reasonable account of any given subject from a foolish one. They needn’t accept the authority (or the credibility) of a judge, or a scholar, or a journalist, because they can find evidence of a personal point of view in each.

This flattening of critical merit makes every controversy into a sort of intellectual playground, a range of possibilities all of which possess equal intellectual merit. It puts every couch-potato responding to a 3-minute news segment on Covid19 right on par with a scientist who has studied infectious diseases throughout her career. It empowers the Dunning-Krueger effect, in effect, by denying that there is any meaningful difference in knowledge to begin with.

I keep coming back to this, not because the problem is conceptually interesting, but because I find myself talking to so many people who seem to live in this mindset. They know what sources they like, and they know which sources they cannot be bothered with, but their own explanations boil down to a kind of unacknowledged voluntarism. Intellectual rigor of any kind simply does not enter into this mindset, because every actual stance is, for them rooted in pure personal bias.

A professional historian writing about World War II might as well be their friend Frank who told them about a thing he saw once in a movie. A journalist summarizing countless hours of research enjoys no more credibility than the first thought that jumps into their own head upon hearing the story.

A medical doctor talking about a global pandemic is easily trumped by a blog post detailing an elaborate conspiracy theory. These same people are happy to sing the praises of objectivity, and in particular to use high standards as a foil against their enemies, but in practice, their mental life is a playground of choices made on thin pretexts. That is all they hear from others; it is all they produce themselves.

I find myself struggling to produce a simple account of objectivity and bias, one which affirms neither this naive realism nor this practical pan-partisanship.

If I am thinking about bias in the presentation of information, and I am, I usually want to make a distinction between 3 broadly different approaches, objective, polemic, and deceptive. This distinction isn’t metaphysical. It’s a question of intent.

When I refer to an account as objective, I do not mean to suggest that its author has achieved some miraculous account devoid of any personal bias. What I mean in such cases, is that the author has made an effort to express the relevant facts of the story, and perhaps to provide an account of the different positions others have taken on the subject.

I will still have questions about the author’s specific choices, the accuracy of their descriptions, and if I know something about the subject, I am likely to sense bias creeping into their narratives. When I call it ‘objective’, it is because I can still see a few objective information creeping through the haze of personal bias, and because I perceive the author’s goal as being rooted in the objective features of the story. Whatever their personal views, there is something about the facts of the matter that has their interest. If they are doing their job right, it will have mine as well.

If I am ever tempted to dismiss the prospect of an objective account as a result of the many subjectivities that always seem to accompany them, I have only to consider some of the alternatives.

There is a world of difference between someone who is trying to tell a story based on the facts as they understand them, and someone for whom a story is solely an instrument of their own personal agenda. While bias might count as failure in the former case, in the latter, that bias is precisely the point.

If ever we forget the merits of an objective account, their absence is certainly noticed whenever we encounter polemic work.

An author or speaker whose primary goal is the advancement of a partisan view tells a very different story than one who is trying to give us an objective account. The facts they elect to provide are not merely shaded by personal bias, they are explicitly chosen on that basis.

One literally doesn’t get any information that doesn’t help the polemicist build his case. His language too is chosen for the purpose of expressing a clear stance on the subject in question. We don’t expect of such writers that they will spend a lot of time on things that don’t facilitate their own argument. To do so would be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Let’s take for example the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan at the end of WWII. I have plenty of textbooks that provide a basic and brief account of this event. One of the major controversies of this story is the question of whether or not doing so was necessary and/or justified in any sense by the circumstances facing the allies near the end of that war.

Any author trying to tell me that story will normally provide some account of the reasons for dropping the bomb, and in doing so, they are likely to show some sense of their own take on that controversial subject They will cover the facts most relevant to their position on the subject, and they will likely describe them in language that suggests some degree of their own sense as to whether or not the decision was sound.

Some authors try to address the controversy by providing an account of the controversy itself, telling us what different people have said about the question over the years. In such cases, it would not be unreasonable to expect they will do a better job of accounting for those positions they agree with than the ones they do not agree with.

All of which is very different from reading a text in which an author takes a stand on that very question. You can find such readings. You can find people who will tell you the decision was absolutely appropriate, and they will make the case as to why.

Others will describe it as an atrocity, and they too will provide an argument as to why that is the case.

In neither of these instances would one expect the polemicist to spend a great deal of time covering facts which don’t help their case. If they do, it will only be to show how their position deals with these facts after all, and so their account of these seemingly neutral features of the story will of course be largely an exercise in stretching a specific viewpoint to cover the facts in question.

None of this is a terrible thing. There is a place for polemics in human communication. My point is simply that a polemic is very different from an attempt at an objective account.

If bias is a bug in the former; it is a feature of the latter, a genuine benefit. If polemic writing is well done, it leaves us with a clear vision of the viewpoint expressed within it. It is a good thing, but it is a different kind of than we get from those trying to write a more thorough and objective account.

(How about the US didn’t want Stalin to occupy all of Korea before Japan ceasefire? Japan had to surrender and stop Russia advances)

Whatever the goals of a writer or a speaker, whether it be polemic or objective, we can also distinguish between those who show a certain respect for truth and reason and those who are consciously deceptive about such matters.

Even the most strident of polemicists is perfectly capable of telling the truth as she understands it and using reasoning that is at least plausible rather than fallacious.

On the other hand, some people are just bad actors: Not only do they make a conscious choice to advance a single point of view; they are willing to deceive to us in the service of that point of view. Their account of the facts will contain not mere errors but conscious lies, and their reasoning will include deliberate cases of misdirection.

Such people are not merely influenced by personal values and personal agendas; they operate free of any moral or intellectual restraint. Lest we forget that objectivity matters, or give up on it altogether, an encounter with such a deceitful soul ought to remind us that facts matter after all, and so does sound reasoning.

I really do not mean to advocate some naive objective metaphysics, but I am sure some folks will say the way I have tried to qualify my use of the term here is inadequate, but this post isn’t really meant to outline an epistemological theory.

This post is mean to describe some differences in communicative practice. The need to do so is motivated less by abstract philosophical questions than a general sense that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain any standards of honesty or intellectual rigor in public discourse.

The problem isn’t just that some people cannot tell the difference between sound journalism and internet gossip; it is that such people increasingly dominate our public discourse and they are increasingly able to obscure such distinctions for purposes of public policy.

Much of their ability to do so lies in their ability to find personal or political bias in even the most professional of publications (whether scholarly or journalistic).

My point here is not to suggest that some people are above personal bias; it is calling attention to the different ways in which bias enters into the work of public media.

For some people bias is a problem they can never really seem to escape.

For others, bias is precisely the point.

For some, it is the only point.

 And what can we do about it?

Jan 9, 2020 

If we want to improve the competence level of people in leadership positions, we need to improve our own competence for judging and selecting them, especially when they are men, says organizational psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic  is the chief talent scientist at ManpowerGroup, a professor of business psychology at University College London and at Columbia University in New York City, and an associate at Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Lab.

He is the author of the book Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (and How to Fix It), upon which his TEDx talk was based. You can find him on Twitter (@drtcp) or at www.drtomas.com.

Have you ever worked with people who are Not as good as they think? 

This finding won’t come as a surprise to most of us, but statistically, these people are more likely to be male than female.

That’s right — men are typically more deceived about their talents than women are. And they are also more likely to succeed in their careers. That’s because one of the best ways to fool other people into thinking you’re better than you actually are is to fool yourself first.

I’m an organizational psychologist, and I use science and technology to predict and understand human behavior at work. One of the areas that fascinates me is the relationship between gender, personality and leadership and more specifically, how gender and personality shape our choices of leaders and how those leaders then impact organizations.

Discussions of gender tend to focus on the under-representation of women in leadership, which, sadly, is more or less universal.

But a bigger problem is the fact that most leaders are incompetent.

Indeed, whether in business or politics, incompetent leaders have negative effects on their followers and subordinates, causing low levels of engagement, trust and productivity and high levels of burnout and stress.

Just google “my boss is” to see what most people think of their managers (and just maybe, you’ll feel a bit better about your manager). You’ll see words like “crazy,” “abusive,” “unbearable,” “toxic,” and other words that are too rude to repeat.

So, the main question we should be asking is Not why there aren’t any more women leaders, but why do so many incompetent men become leaders? 

My research suggests there are three main reasons, and the first is our inability to distinguish between confidence and competence.

Across cultures and countries, we tend to assume that confident people have more potential for leadership, but in any area of talent, including leadership, there is very little overlap between confidence (how good people think they are at something) and competence (how good they actually are at something).

The second reason is our love of charismatic individuals, particularly since the explosion of mass media in the 1960s.

But this has been turbocharged by the recent digital age. We appear to want leaders who are charming and entertaining, but as most of us know, there is a big difference between an effective leader and being a stand-up comedian.

In fact, the best leaders are humble rather than charismatic, to the point of being boring.

That’s why they’re rarely featured in blockbuster movies. For example, imagine a movie on Angela Merkel — she wakes up, has breakfast with her husband, goes to meetings well-prepared, lets other people talk without interrupting them, makes rational decisions, and there are no scandals about her.

In contrast, there is a surplus of captivating biopics on charismatic leaders with a fascinating dark side, who end up ruining countries and organizations.

The third and final reason for the rise of incompetent men is our inability to resist the allure of narcissistic individuals — people with grandiose visions that tap into our own narcissism. 

We’ve always admired famous people, but our admiration for people who admire themselves or are famous for just being famous has been rising for decades. At this rate, future generations will look back at Kim and Kanye and say, “Whoa! Weren’t they modest?”

Much of the popular advice that focuses on helping people become leaders nurtures and promotes a narcissistic mindset: “Love yourself, no matter what”, “Don’t worry about what people think of you” or “If you think you’re great, you are.”

Unfortunately, this creates a surplus of leaders who are unaware of their limitations and unjustifiably pleased with themselves.

They see leadership as an entitlement and they lack empathy and self-control, so they end up acting without integrity and indulging in reckless risks.

In contrast, the best leaders keep their narcissism in check. They care a lot about other people, including what they think of them, and they spend a great deal of time worrying about their reputation, which is why there are very few scandals about them.

So, how do we stop incompetent men from becoming leaders?

The first solution is to follow the signs and look for the qualities that actually make people better leaders.

There is a pathological mismatch between the attributes that seduce us in a leader and those that are needed to be an effective leader.

If we want to improve the performance of our leaders, we should focus on the right traits. Instead of falling for people who are confident, narcissistic and charismatic, we should promote people because of competence, humility and integrity.

Incidentally, this would also lead to a higher proportion of female than male leaders — large-scale scientific studies show that women score higher than men on measures of competence, humility and integrity. But the point is that we would significantly improve the quality of our leaders.

The second solution is to distrust our instincts.

Most of us love our intuition, but most people are just not as intuitive as they think. In that sense, intuition is a bit like a sense of humor.

90% of people think they have a fantastic sense of humor. Yet how many people are actually funny? A much lower percentage.

One implication is to focus less on the impressions people make during job or media interviews, which are just an invitation to project our own biases and prejudices.

Even when we have good intentions, it is not easy to overcome this. For example, unconscious bias training will rarely help you ignore that the person in front of you is white, female or attractive. In fact, the more you try to suppress certain thoughts from your mind, the more prominent and present they become.

If we want to improve the quality of our leaders and help more women get to leadership positions, the last thing we should do is lower our standards when we select women. 

This means we shouldn’t ask women to behave more like incompetent men — for example, asking them to lean in when they don’t have the talent to back it up or to spend more time on self-promotion or advancing their own personal interests.

It also means not ruling out men because they lack the traditional masculine features that match our flawed archetypes of leadership.

To the extent that we can do these things, we will end up with better leaders.

However, progress starts with each and every one of us. If we want to improve the competence level of our leaders, we should first improve our own competence for judging and selecting leaders, especially when they are men.

Tidbits and notes: Part 283

Renouvelle tes efforts pour que ta derniere bouchee’ de pain soit bien cuite

On laboure pour que les rats (les capitalistes) en profitent.

In Lebanon’s Order of Engineers, a retired engineer has to check twice a year and fill a sheet of paper testifying he is still alive (and kicking is irrelevant). Great for this period of total desperation where a citizen has to be reminded that he is living. Wish the Order could send a condolence notice for those engineers who forgot to come down and fill the “Death sheet” for a reminder.

In all countries, biases against “new comers” into a community is common. Regardless of all the laws against discrimination, a community set up tacit rules that prevent renters or owners to settle in the community. First of all higher prices for properties and schooling, denying access to community facilities… The only way for owners to get out of the laws is to find “reasonable” excuses Not to sound brutal discrimination. This require implicit training on how to confront a renter.

Sure, the colonial powers created and funded the Zionist movement to get rid of their Jews. Why the “Oriental Jews” flocked to Israel at the first opportunity? Why the colonial Jews are still immigrating to Israel for cheap housing and special apartheid treatments? Let this discrimination between (Jews and Zionist Jews) be localized within the communities of colonial powers: Israel is an existential enemy and we cannot afford demographic increase of apartheid Jews on our Land.

Lawmakers from both parties in the USA hope to stymie a plan by the Trump administration to sell $8 billion in weapons to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It’s unlikely that the vote will win the two-thirds support needed to override a presidential veto.

The number of people fleeing their countries reached a record high of 25.5 million in 2018, and walked one billion miles to safety, according to the UN’s annual report. Rich countries took in just 16%. Syria has the highest number of refugees internally and externally and increasing

Nous sommes ce que nous repetons sans cesse? C’est vrai: nous sommes ce que nous faisons au quotidien. Tout changement demande aussi des repetitions: comme prendre son temps de respirer correctement et faire ses exercices physiques…

Peine, fatigue et souffrance, en suivant un plan bien pense’, rendent la vie plutot bonne et le repos bien merite’

Les echelons de la misere humaines? Des gens sous les bombes, sous des lois absolutistes, une maladie grave, les sans-abris, les sans-travail, les sans-amour (mon cas)… et tous les animaux que l’homme a detruit leurs habitats et qui les forces a traverser les autoroutes… et puis il y a le Liban, gouverne’ par les “leaders” de la guerre civile, chaque leader avec ses institutions etatiques.

Routinite? Et aigue pour comble? On a tout pour etre heureux (argent, boulot, comfort…) mais on sent que nous manquons ce besoin de raisons de vivre. Des analphabetes d’emotions humaniste.

Age should Not entitle you to play the wise-man: Young people are Not hearing your counsel or advice or wise-cracking humors. Learn to loosen up and say “reflected humor” that are within the humanist values: Your humor should Not match the humors of the younger ones’: that’s the best message you can share with the next generations.

On ne sait pas acheter si l’on n’apprend pas a vendre. Surtout, tout ce bric a brac qu’ on a accumule’ dans une vie et qu’on ne sait pas y mettre le prix pour s’en s’alleger. In my case, I never sold anything: when I have to move, I give away everything, even my car.

Des millenaires de sexualite’ qui fut passee’ a la moulinette de la morale et des tabous laissent des traces. Assumant ses desirs et sa sensualite’ nous laissent tres intimider par ce poids du patrimoine educatif “bien-pensant”

The US president tweeted last night that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week begin to remove millions of people from the country. These migrants have already been sentenced by immigration courts to leave, but are still roaming,walking free and waiting.

 

Are you aware of your biases?

Someone who looks like me walks past you in the street. Do you think they’re a mother, a refugee or a victim of oppression?

Or do you think they’re a cardiologist, a barrister or maybe your local politician?

Do you look me up and down, wondering how hot I must get or if my husband has forced me to wear this outfit? What if I wore my scarf like this?

0:42 I can walk down the street in the exact same outfit and what the world expects of me and the way I’m treated depends on the arrangement of this piece of cloth.

But this isn’t going to be another monologue about the hijab because Lord knows, Muslim women are so much more than the piece of cloth they choose, or not, to wrap their head in. This is about looking beyond your bias.

What if I walked past you and later on you’d found out that actually I was a race car engineer, and that I designed my own race car and I ran my university’s race team, because it’s true.

What if I told you that I was actually trained as a boxer for 5 years, because that’s true, too. Would it surprise you? Why?

Ladies and gentlemen, ultimately, that surprise and the behaviors associated with it are the product of something called unconscious bias, or implicit prejudice. And that results in the ridiculously detrimental lack of diversity in our workforce, particularly in areas of influence. Hello, Australian Federal Cabinet. (Applause)

Let me just set something out from the outset: Unconscious bias is not the same as conscious discrimination. I’m not saying that in all of you, there’s a secret sexist or racist or ageist lurking within, waiting to get out. That’s not what I’m saying.

We all have our biases. They’re the filters through which we see the world around us. I’m not accusing anyone, bias is not an accusation.

Rather, it’s something that has to be identified, acknowledged and mitigated against.

Bias can be about race, it can be about gender. It can also be about class, education, disability. The fact is, we all have biases against what’s different, what’s different to our social norms.

The thing is, if we want to live in a world where the circumstances of your birth do not dictate your future and where equal opportunity is ubiquitous, then each and every one of us has a role to play in making sure unconscious bias does not determine our lives.

There’s this really famous experiment in the space of unconscious bias and that’s in the space of gender in the 1970s and 1980s.

So orchestras, back in the day, were made up mostly of dudes, up to only 5% were female.

And apparently, that was because men played it differently, presumably better, presumably.

But in 1952, The Boston Symphony Orchestra started an experiment. They started blind auditions. So rather than face-to-face auditions, you would have to play behind a screen. Now funnily enough, no immediate change was registered until they asked the audition-ers to take their shoes off before they entered the room. because the clickity-clack of the heels against the hardwood floors was enough to give the ladies away.

Now get this, there results of the audition showed that there was a 50 percent increased chance a woman would progress past the preliminary stage. And it almost tripled their chances of getting in.

What does that tell us? Well, unfortunately for the guys, men actually didn’t play differently, but there was the perception that they did. And it was that bias that was determining their outcome.

what we’re doing here is identifying and acknowledging that a bias exists.

And look, we all do it. Let me give you an example. A son and his father are in a horrible car accident. The father dies on impact and the son, who’s severely injured, is rushed to hospital. The surgeon looks at the son when they arrive and is like, “I can’t operate.” Why? “The boy is my son.” How can that be? Ladies and gentlemen, the surgeon is his mother. Now hands up — and it’s okay — but hands up if you initially assumed the surgeon was a guy?

There’s evidence that that unconscious bias exists, but we all just have to acknowledge that it’s there and then look at ways that we can move past it so that we can look at solutions.

one of the interesting things around the space of unconscious bias is the topic of quotas.

And this something that’s often brought up. And of of the criticisms is this idea of merit.

Look, I don’t want to be picked because I’m a chick, I want to be picked because I have merit, because I’m the best person for the job. It’s a sentiment that’s pretty common among female engineers that I work with and that I know. And yeah, I get it, I’ve been there.

But, if the merit idea was true, why would identical resumes, in an experiment done in 2012 by Yale, identical resumes sent out for a lab technician, why would Jennifers be deemed less competent, be less likely to be offered the job, and be paid less than Johns. The unconscious bias is there, but we just have to look at how we can move past it.

it’s interesting, there’s some research that talks about why this is the case and it’s called the merit paradox.

And in organizations — and this is kind of ironic — in organizations that talk about merit being their primary value-driver in terms of who they hire, they were more likely to hire dudes and more likely to pay the guys more because apparently merit is a masculine quality. But, hey.

you guys think you’ve got a good read on me, you kinda think you know what’s up.

Can you imagine me running one of these? Can you imagine me walking in and being like, “Hey boys, this is what’s up. This is how it’s done.” Well, I’m glad you can. (Applause) Because ladies and gentlemen, that’s my day job. And the cool thing about it is that it’s pretty entertaining. Actually, in places like Malaysia, Muslim women on rigs isn’t even comment-worthy. There are that many of them. But, it is entertaining.

I remember, I was telling one of the guys, “Hey, mate, look, I really want to learn how to surf.” And he’s like, “Yassmin, I don’t know how you can surf with all that gear you’ve got on, and I don’t know any women-only beaches.”

And then, the guy came up with a brilliant idea, he was like, “I know, you run that organization Youth Without Borders, right? Why don’t you start a clothing line for Muslim chicks in beaches. You can call it Youth Without Boardshorts.” (Laughter) And I was like, “Thanks, guys.” And I remember another bloke telling me that I should eat all the yogurt I could because that was the only culture I was going to get around there.

the problem is, it’s kind of true because there’s an intense lack of diversity in our workforce, particularly in places of influence.

 in 2010, The Australian National University did an experiment where they sent out 4,000 identical applications to entry level jobs, essentially. To get the same number of interviews as someone with an Anglo-Saxon name, if you were Chinese, you had to send out 68 percent more applications.

If you were Middle Eastern — Abdel-Magied — you had to send out 64 percent, and if you’re Italian, you’re pretty lucky, you only have to send out 12 percent more.

In places like Silicon Valley, it’s not that much better. In Google, they put out some diversity results and 61 percent white, 30 percent Asian and nine, a bunch of blacks, Hispanics, all that kind of thing. And the rest of the tech world is not that much better and they’ve acknowledged it, but I’m not really sure what they’re doing about it.

The thing is, it doesn’t trickle up. In a study done by Green Park, who are a British senior exec supplier, they said that over half of the FTSE 100 companies don’t have a nonwhite leader at their board level, executive or non-executive. And two out of every three don’t have an executive who’s from a minority. And most of the minorities that are at that sort of level are non-executive board directors. So their influence isn’t that great.

I’ve told you a bunch of terrible things. You’re like, “Oh my god, how bad is that? What can I do about it?” Well, fortunately, we’ve identified that there’s a problem.

There’s a lack of opportunity, and that’s due to unconscious bias.

But you might be sitting there thinking, “I ain’t brown. What’s that got to do with me?” Let me offer you a solution. And as I’ve said before, we live in a world where we’re looking for an ideal. And if we want to create a world where the circumstances of your birth don’t matter, we all have to be part of the solution.

And interestingly, the author of the lab resume experiment offered some sort of a solution. She said the one thing that brought the successful women together, the one thing that they had in common, was the fact that they had good mentors.

So mentoring, we’ve all kind of heard that before, it’s in the vernacular. Here’s another challenge for you. I challenge each and every one of you to mentor someone different. Think about it.

Everyone wants to mentor someone who kind of is familiar, who looks like us, we have shared experiences. If I see a Muslim chick who’s got a bit of attitude, I’m like, “What’s up? We can hang out.”

You walk into a room and there’s someone who went to the same school, you play the same sports, there’s a high chance that you’re going to want to help that person out.

But for the person in the room who has no shared experiences with you it becomes extremely difficult to find that connection.

The idea of finding someone different to mentor, someone who doesn’t come from the same background as you, whatever that background is, is about opening doors for people who couldn’t even get to the damn hallway.

Because ladies and gentlemen, the world is not just. People are not born with equal opportunity. I was born in one of the poorest cities in the world, Khartoum. (Sudan)

I was born brown, I was born female, and I was born Muslim in a world that is pretty suspicious of us for reasons I can’t control. However, I also acknowledge the fact that I was born with privilege.

I was born with amazing parents, I was given an education and had the blessing of migrating to Australia. But also, I’ve been blessed with amazing mentors who’ve opened doors for me that I didn’t even know were there. A mentor who said to me, “Hey, your story’s interesting. Let’s write something about it so that I can share it with people.”

A mentor who said, “I know you’re all those things that don’t belong on an Australian rig, but come on anyway.” And here I am, talking to you.

11:24 And I’m not the only one. There’s all sorts of people in my communities that I see have been helped out by mentors. A young Muslim man in Sydney who ended up using his mentor’s help to start up a poetry slam in Bankstown and now it’s a huge thing.

And he’s able to change the lives of so many other young people. Or a lady here in Brisbane, an Afghan lady who’s a refugee, who could barely speak English when she came to Australia, her mentors helped her become a doctor and she took our Young Queenslander of the Year Award in 2008. She’s an inspiration. This is so not smooth.

12:05 This is me. But I’m also the woman in the rig clothes, and I’m also the woman who was in the abaya at the beginning. Would you have chosen to mentor me if you had seen me in one of those other versions of who I am? Because I’m that same person.

We have to look past our unconscious bias, find someone to mentor who’s at the opposite end of your spectrum because structural change takes time, and I don’t have that level of patience. So if we’re going to create a change, if we’re going to create a world where we all have those kinds of opportunities, then choose to open doors for people. Because you might think that diversity has nothing to do with you, but we are all part of this system and we can all be part of that solution.

12:51 And if you don’t know where to find someone different, go to the places you wouldn’t usually go. If you enroll in private high school tutoring, go to your local state school or maybe just drop into your local refugee tutoring center. Or perhaps you work at an office.

Take out that new grad who looks totally out of place — ’cause that was me — and open doors for them, not in a tokenistic way, because we’re not victims, but show them the opportunities because opening up your world will make you realize that you have access to doors that they didn’t even know existed and you didn’t even know they didn’t have.

13:24 Ladies and gentlemen, there is a problem in our community with lack of opportunity, especially due to unconscious bias. But each and every one one of you has the potential to change that. I know you’ve been given a lot of challenges today, but if you can take this one piece and think about it a little differently, because diversity is magic. And I encourage you to look past your initial perceptions because I bet you, they’re probably wrong.

Patsy Z shared this link

“Bias is not an accusation. It’s something that has to be identified, acknowledged and mitigated against.”

A powerful talk on the biases we don’t even know we have.
t.ted.com|By Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Fallacies, Biases, Illusions, effects, trendencies, errors… and “The Art of Thinking Clear”

By Rolf Dobelli

This book is a simple guide to “less irrational” behaviors and tendencies, as we get aware of the hundreds of biases that are ingrained in our behaviors.

I have reviewed two dozen of these 99 listed biases and added my comments.

“It isn’t what we know that gets in our way. It is what we believe” Physicist  Harold Puthoff

“We’d rather be roughly right than precisely right” Lord Keynes

“Faced with the choice between changing our mind and proving there is no need to do so, everyone gets busy on the proof” (John Kenneth Galbraith)

1. Survivorship Bias

2. Swimmer’s body illusion

3. Clustering illusion

4. Social proof effect

5. Sunk cost effect

6. Reciprocity

7. Confirmation

8. Authority

9. Contrast effect

10. Availability

11. Getting worse before getting better fallacy

12. Story bias

13. In hindsight illusion

14. Overconfidence bias

15. Chauffeur knowledge

16. Illusion of control

17. Insensitive Super-Response tendency

18. Regression to mean fallacy

19. Outcome bias

20. Paradox of choice

21. Liking bias

22. Endowment effect

23. Coincidence fallacy

24. Group think effect

25. Neglect of Probability

26. Scarcity Error

27. Base-rate neglect

28. Gambler’s fallacy

29. The Anchor

30. Induction

31. Loss aversion

32. Social loafing

33. Exponential growth

34. Winner’s curse

35. Fundamental attribution error

36 False causality

37. Halo effect

38. Alternative path

39. Forecast illusion

40. Conjunction fallacy

41. Framing

42. Action bias

43. Omission bias

44. Self-serving

45. Hedonic treadmill

46. Sel-selection bia

47. Beginner’s luck

48. Cognitive dissonance

49. Hyperbolic discounting

50. Because Justification

51. Decision fatigue

52. Contagion bias

53. Problems with averages

54. Motivation crowding

55. Twaddle tendency

56. Will Roger phenomenon

57. Information bias

58. Effort justification

59. Law of small numbers

60. Expectations

61. Simple logic fallacy

62. Forer effect

63. Volunteer’s folly

64. Affect heuristic

65 Introspection illusion

66. Inability to close doors

67. Neomania

68. Sleeper effect

69. Alternative blindness

70. Social comparison

71. Primacy and recency effects

72. “Not invented here” syndrome

73. The Black Swan

74. Domain Dependence

75. False-Consensus

76. Falsification of History bias

77. In-group, out-group biases

78. Ambiguity aversion

79. Default, standard option effects

80. Fear of regret

81. Salience effect

82. House-Money effect

83. Procrastination

84. Envy vs jealousy

85. Personification

86. Illusion of paying attention

87. Planning fallacy

88. Zeigarnik effect

89. Illusion of skills

90. Feature=positive effect

91. Cherry picking tendency

92. Single cause fallacy

93 Intention to treat errors

94. News illusion

Note 1: As you read these 100 tendencies to commit errors of judgment, try to add other systematic biases to the list

Try to add a title or a short statement that succinctly describe the topic.

Note 2: The exigencies of living lead us to stick to most of our biases and fallacies. We tend to procrastinate acting on our well-intentioned decisions that could correct our ill-conceived methodology to run our life.

Note 3:  To better comprehend these types of behavioral errors or shortcomings, the best way is to try various taxonomies (categorizing) for these biases, fallacies… that lead to errors

1. You may define these terms and delimit how they differ and sort them accordingly

2. You may sort them according to cognitive, social, evolutionary perspectives

3. Sort them according to your field of interest so that you rely on a shorter list when reviewing failed projects and erasing the biases that were taken care of.

4. Group them for correlation or seemingly contradictory behaviors

 

 

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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