Unconscious Bias – What causes bias in humans?

Unconscious Bias – What causes bias in humans?

what is unconscious bias? As astonishing as it might sound to you, we all are somewhat biased. People can be biased against certain genders, religions, races, sexual orientations, and political leanings—just about anything can be a source of bias. However, being biased isn’t something to feel, especially remorseful about. Biases often are formed due to figuring out talk about our immediate environment based on the people we have mingled with and the nature of events and occurrences that we have experienced.

It’s something that all humans do. Biases turn into a problem when they are utilized as a way or reason to keep individuals oppressed or unable to better themselves. Using one’s own bias to judge an entire group of people can be problematic and limiting. Since bias is quite a wide issue across different societies, this article will be centered exclusively on its impact in the workplace. We should initially examine what the meaning of bias is and where it comes from. 

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, Bias is “the tendency or the possibility of supporting an individual or people against another set of people such that unjustly prevent them from getting what is due to them.”



Bias in all humans is formed by interactions with our families, companions, and people in our networks. These interactions form the way we see and relate to our immediate environment. The kind of people we mingle with helps us form the convictions that determine how we relate with people we come across in life. If your circle of close friends, culture, religion, or social status, for instance, feels that anyone different from you isn’t worth your time, that can pose a problem when interacting with others.

However, being biased isn’t the main problem here. As stated earlier, the problem starts when we neglect to do the right things to the extent that our biases always influence and obscure how we see the individuals we encounter in our everyday lives. We must always treat individuals equally. Everyone should be allowed to do whatever makes them happy so long as it doesn’t affect their performance and delivery at the place of work.




The majority of us invest most of our energy in our workplace. It is also a widely accepted fact that our work surroundings are where we will probably come into contact with various individuals. This means that our workplaces are places where it is essential to be aware of our biases. At work and during the recruitment processes, promotion strategies and task assignment stages require bias control. This could spell doom for the organization if not properly handled.

Even things as basic as who gets fired or retained are largely overflowing with possible bias opportunities. An example of this can be seen in individuals that are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Such persons may be treated unjustly based on their lifestyle, even if they are the most productive staff members in the organization. Such treatment would influence how these individuals feel, see themselves, and perceive the organization.

This can, in turn, cause low efficiency, disdain, and inevitable flight. Moreover, the consequences of making a person feel insecure in their own body are immeasurable. In an equitable and unbiased reality, this individual may have contributed enormously to positive results for customers, the organization, and society overall, paying little mind to their sexual orientation.

Another illustration of bias includes the treatment of Muslims, who, as of now, experience serious bias across the world. The horrible tragedy of 11/09/2001 in the U.S. was asserted by fear mongers who see them as a demonstration made by apparently “ardent Muslims” as a feature of a “jihad” or “Holy War.” Because of this very grievous act, many Muslims are seen as the enemy in the U.S. and abroad, and violent, terroristic acts are seen as tents of the Islamic faith. This bias is significant since it is so far-reaching.

Many people do not take the time to understand the genuine teachings of Islam. A few associations are so biased that anybody of a divergent conviction can never develop past specific posts in their association. With a legitimate comprehension of genuine Islamic tenets and teachings, a ton of negative bias against Muslims could be nullified. People could discover a new respect for those of the Islamic faith and treat more people as they should be treated. This is significant concerning the workplace for a few reasons. Above all else, to perceive and work to end this cultural bias demonstrates an organization’s values of congruity, teamwork, and profitability.




Diversity should be the watchword in every workplace. Diversity energizes cultural incorporation. This methodology includes everybody’s abilities, paying little heed to their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or other bias-inducing traits, as well as strict adherence to rewarding and hiring people based on merit. An organization would do well to avoid looking like they “play favorites” and give special recognition based on specific qualities instead of merits.

This happened in the U.S., where young and middle-aged Americans of specific races, genders, sexual orientations, or countries of origin were deliberately bypassed for top administrative roles and duties in favor of old, white Caucasians. Those people were not necessarily more capable, talented, or highly trained than younger Americans. By introducing Affirmative Action, this trend was quickly reversed. Affirmative Action encourages organizations to have a diverse staff by implementing a program that increases the number of people from underserved groups working there.  

Concerning bias in the workplace, this program guarantees open doors for people that have been oppressed for quite a long time. Biases usually find their origin from the deliberate hiding of facts, which then snowballs into the unfair treatment of some people. Diversity is a potent tool needed to tackle unnecessary, systemic bias against innocent persons based on their outward appearance or beliefs. From a purely economic standpoint, this social ill is threatening to rob organizations of their maximum productivity. Affirmative Action is a policy designed to cater to those who have been left neglected for too long at various workplaces and to instill sanity into the system.


On an ending note, it is uncommon to work at a place and not experience some systemic bias; a large portion of us have experienced it before. As I said earlier, being biased isn’t something awful. It is an innate human instinct. It has a profoundly negative impact when we permit it to influence how we see other people who might be more suited for a specific work. We decide to neglect them due to some sentimental bias towards them based on appearances or beliefs.

It is crucial for us all that we try to be aware of our lives’ places and parts where our biases may be harmful. It will benefit both personally and the organization if our differences are respected and used to achieve the best results through teamwork and full cooperation. It’s important to have a hand on deck to hit your target optimally; otherwise, frustration might set in. 

Unconscious Bias Training Doesn’t Work! How to Make it Work?

Unconscious Bias Training Doesn’t Work! How to Make it Work?

Unconscious Bias Training: You will often find yourself having a fixed perception about a specific thing, person, or topic. That is called unconscious bias. You cannot stop yourself from having an unconscious bias; however, if you start making organizational decisions based on your unconscious bias, it becomes a problem because unconscious bias training doesn’t work!

In this article, we will talk about unconscious bias training and how we can manage it by ensuring it does not come in the way of our organizational decisions.

What is Unconscious Bias Training?

Unconscious bias training is one of the positive advances that organizations can take to help their employees, at each level, perceive, comprehend and oversee stowed biases that can bring up navigation and sabotage Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion drives and objectives of the organization. A few examples of oblivious bias are accepting that male employees are better at actual work or those female employees will leave the workplace after turning into a parent or getting married. Another example of unconscious bias at the workplace may include or expect people or certain groups to have specific expertise or a trait-based on their race.

However, research has shown that uncoils bias training doesn’t work, and well, if you see it from my eyes, I think it is unfair too. Think about it: providing help or training to employees based on their personal opinions will result in unconscious biases. Won’t it? Imagine what kind of an environment it will cause in the workplace when employees know that their future is based on the personal belief system of a specific human. How unfair!

What do you think? Would you like to be treated differently due to some factors that influence the unconscious mind, or do you think the unconscious bias training doesn’t work?

How To Manage Unconscious Bias Training At Workplace

Unconscious bias can affect any working environment choice – including recruiting, enrolling, promoting an employee, performance reviews, and especially the discipline of an organization. Unconscious bias can likewise influence connections with individuals outside of the organization, like clients, merchants, accomplices, and affiliated individuals. There are various kinds of preferences because there are different kinds of humans, and they have different mindsets and backgrounds.

Given a broad scope of attributes and suppositions that come from other humans, each one of them can bring about an unfortunate choice or oppressive conduct. For instance, excusing a certified up to and comer since they are certainly not a decent ‘social fit’ or have an ‘unfamiliar sounding name.’ The perception refrains the leaders in an organization to see beyond their unconscious bias. Maybe the person could offer more than their expectations, and this is why I say that unconscious bias training does not work!

However, here are a few steps to help you put your unconscious bias aside to make things work.

You can also check out our other related article:

1. Increase Awareness about Unconscious Bias Training

Expanding mindfulness and comprehension of unconscious bias is continuously needed. Hence, it would help if you made sure that everyone in your organization, especially leaders responsible for choosing people for training, knows that their unconscious bias exists and that unconscious bias training doesn’t work.

Moreover, it is essential that each person knows about their judgments and unconscious biases and does not allow them to cloud their judgment. It is impossible to find people who do not have an unconscious bias; however, you need to find people who control their unconscious bias because they are well aware that unconscious bias training doesn’t work.

2. Form a Diverse Team

Unconscious Bias Training

We observe employing strategies and advancement rules and including a diverse team who can make sure that the decisions taken for the organization are fair. 

It is essential to form a diverse team that collectively decides who should be trained and how they should be trained because unconscious bias training doesn’t work. Well, if one person makes the critical decisions, they are inevitably made around the uncoils bias of that person. However, if there is a group of people who make decisions, there is a fewer chance of unconscious bias because if one strays from the path, the others will bring them back to their core value that uncoils bias doesn’t work.

3. Take Feedback

Executing a framework for secretly detailing responses and leading employee reviews to reveal unconscious bias are potent ways to ensure that unconscious bias does not exist. Furthermore, working with ordinary conversations and discussions between various teams and offices, advancing tutoring and mentorship, and making a feeling of having a place are activities that add to lessening the unconscious bias and its effect on working environment culture.

Moreover, you will see that when you start asking around or start taking Feedback from the employees themselves, you will see that your perception will start becoming more apparent. This way, you will spread the message that unconscious bias training doesn’t work, and people will gradually become more aware of this topic.


In this article, we learned how unconscious bias training doesn’t work. If one person is deciding your future, there is a high chance that you’re in trouble because of their difference in opinion and their unconscious bias. May ignore such decisions, but they can never be overlooked in workplace decisions. Because for workplace decisions, you need to have an open mind, and your main goal is to benefit the organization and not yourself.

Hence, you must understand that unconscious bias training doesn’t work, and to make better decisions, you should practice not letting your unconscious bias cloud your judgment. You will see that you will become a better decision-maker and a leader if you somehow take control of your unconscious biases, especially when it comes to training your employees!

What is Implicit Bias and Types of Implicit Bias at Workplace?

What is Implicit Bias and Types of Implicit Bias at Workplace?

Implicit Bias: Understanding types of implicit bias is the most important pillar for starting to practice inclusion. It is the first stepping stone to greater self-awareness, adopting more inclusive behaviors, and challenging problematic beliefs.

What is Implicit Bias?

Implicit bias refers to preconceptions or attitudes that unintentionally negatively impact your understanding, behaviors, and decisions, making them uncontrolled if left untreated and unabated. It is defined as the unsupported and prejudiced judgments against or in favor of a person, group, or one thing compared to the other in a way that is considered usually unfair.

All of you have biases or unsupported assumptions that you make about other people. Also known as unconscious bias, implicit bias includes passing judgments about people unknowingly based on various factors such as their race, sexual orientation, gender, weight, socioeconomic status, or age. While these biases are not always harmful, they are molded by an instinct to survive that causes you to associate with people you perceive to be similar to them as they are deemed to be safe.

Illustrations of unconscious biases are present throughout your professional and personal lives. Books have been written after conducting thorough research. For instance, in a book written by Malcolm Gladwell, it was mentioned that approximately 3.9% of adult men are 6 feet in the general population which is like two inches or taller. And among a random CEO sampling, it was found that nearly a third, or 33.3% fell into this category.

Implicit biases are considered harmful as they influence how you perceive and interact with people. Everybody holds implicit beliefs about various social groups, and such biases can negatively impact our work, study, and social environment. Also, it can lead you to depersonalize people from different groups based on perceived traits. Therefore, learning to recognize them and overcome them is crucial to overcoming racial and social stereotypes, including prejudice.

When talking about explicit biases, these are those where people openly express themselves by arguing. However, implicit biases usually lie outside of your conscious awareness.

Its insidious nature lies in its unconsciousness, as your implicit biases usually contradict the values that you aspire to. For instance, implicit bias is in force if a manager assigns you a technology-heavy task to a young employee rather than an older one based on the unspoken assumption that younger team members are better with technology. Besides, implicit or unconscious bias occurs in the classroom, like marginalizing non-native English speakers while forming workgroups with unconscious belief in mind that they may not perform as well or better than native English speakers. Moreover, when you are not aware that you are doing something wrong, it can be challenging to rectify.

Why Does Implicit Bias Matter?

It has become a hot topic in universities, corporations, and groups during the last few years to understand implicit bias. The educators study how implicit biases based on sexual orientation, gender, race, and other identities affect workplaces, educational experiences, employment procedures, and how they influence decision-making.

It would be great if a magic list of techniques to protect yourself from implicit bias. If you’re in a position of relative privilege, you might not feel the effects of damaging stereotypes as much. If you belong to several disadvantaged or stereotyped groups, though, you may feel as if the odds are stacked against you.

It doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile to put in the effort to become conscious of your own biases. It takes a lot of effort to learn to confront stereotypes and incorrect preconceptions. It is beneficial to take a company’s commitment to diversity, belonging, and inclusion and put it into action. You may not always be aware of where these biases come from, but you can always change the actions you take in response to them.

You are liable to make inaccurate generalizations without realizing it, and that too almost always. It could be problematic for the following reasons:

  • You act in discriminatory ways as individuals, society, and the workplace because of implicit bias.
  • Implicit bias is self-reinforcing. When the bias is left unchecked, it reinforces for others that non-inclusive behaviors are socially acceptable, resulting in a snowball effect that makes it even more challenging to notice and resist.

As a result, understanding the role of bias in influencing your actions is the first step in becoming a more inclusive team member. This self-awareness allows you to go further into your prejudices, find blind spots, and develop the necessary skills to adopt more inclusive behaviors.

Recognizing that you do not always have the good influence you desire is a part of attaining the self-awareness that comes with learning about bias. Reflect on your activities and decision-making processes to see how these biases affect you.

Implicit bias

Types of Implicit Bias

Learning to recognize hidden biases is a critical first step in correcting them. Some of the many implicit biases that exist in today’s culture include:

Age Bias

It occurs when you discriminate against someone based on their age. For instance, when as a hiring manager, you look for a social-media-savvy candidate, you reject a resume just because the applicant is middle-aged by seeing its graduation detail. Here you make an unconscious assumption that the candidate does not have the expertise in social media management.

Age bias affects more women than men and begins at younger ages. Therefore, you must remove graduation dates and work experience dates from the candidates’ resumes while hiring. Besides, realize that older workers may bring experience and skills to the table that younger employees can’t.

Gender Bias

When you prefer one gender over another, gender bias occurs. This bias is how you judge women and men based on typical masculine and feminine assigned traits. Also, assuming that one gender can do a particular job better than the other falls under gender bias.

For instance, thinking that a babysitting job can be done better by women than men is an illustration of babysitting, regardless of the experience level and expertise of the applicant.

You can overcome this implicit bias by using neutral language in the job description that does not reflect more with one gender. While thinking about the promotions and development opportunities, try to switch the gender of the individual you are thinking about and then notice if your perception is changed for their readiness.

Race and Ethnicity Bias

An unconscious racial and ethnicity stereotype is an example of implicit bias. It occurs when people assume some traits about someone based on their ethnicity or race. Race and ethnicity bias can manifest in small interpersonal interactions and has vast implications in the legal system, including other essential sections of society.

Illustrations may include holding implicit stereotypes associating Black individuals as aggressive. As a result, you may cross the street at night when you see a Black guy walking towards you, without realizing you are crossing the road. Besides, assuming that all Hispanic individuals are English-language learners or all Asian individuals are good at math, and then to take actions that reinforce such biases, such as overseeing without being aware a Hispanic employee for a task that needs vital good English communication skill.

You can also check our related article on this site.

LGBTQIA+ Community Bias

Similar to gender and racial biases, people may hold an implicit bias against members of the LGBTQIA+ Community. However, it doesn’t mean that these opinions are voiced out loud or even recognized consciously by the beholder.

Before seeing other examples, a straightforward instance could be asking your female friend whether she has a boyfriend, assuming her sexuality. Here you are assuming that heterosexuality is the default or the norm. In this situation, you could ask whether she sees someone. You may not realize it, but here you are, making a judgment without being aware.

In addition, overlooking bisexuals for leadership positions unconsciously based on the assumption that they cannot make up their minds, assigning gay men to design tasks at the workplace without knowing the reasons behind their choice, and assuming that lesbians cannot relate to men, so declining to pair them with male team members reflexively are all examples of LGBTQIA+ Community bias.

Implicit bias

Appearance Bias

It is easy to make judgments based on the appearance of the individual. Here are some examples of the appearance-based implicit biases, which includes:

Beauty Bias

Judging individuals based on how attractive they think they are called beauty bias. Individuals perceived as beautiful or attractive are more likely to be treated positively. Women are particularly fell victim to beauty bias. While hiring and deciding promotions, focus on their work and not their look.

Height Bias

The tendency of people to treat taller people more favorably is known as height bias. Taller people are more likely to be seen as leader-like and authoritative, whereas shorter individuals, especially men, are more likely to receive negative height bias.

Weight Bias

Judging an individual negatively, or assuming negative thoughts about them, just because they are heavier or larger than average. Also, to judge a person if they are underweight falls underweight bias.

Rather than looking at the person’s appearance, it would help to look at their experience, skills, and expertise.

The Halo Effect

It occurs when your impression of someone unconsciously influences your opinion of a different aspect of their character. The halo effect is in play when you tend to think more highly of them after knowing something impressive about them or, in contrast, perceiving an individual negatively after knowing something inappropriate about them.

This bias usually occurs during performance appraisals and hiring in the corporate and business world. For instance, if a candidate dresses modishly for their job interview, you might assume without realizing that they are more skilled than a candidate dressed ordinarily or has a stain on their clothes.

Ask yourself why you have had a positive or negative perception, whether your perception has stemmed from unconscious stereotyping based on gender, race, or age, for example. Consider including diverse perspectives in the hiring process to combat this implicit bias and make your workplace more inclusive. Besides, you must evaluate your reasoning before making a final decision.

Affinity Bias

Also referred to as like-likes-like, this bias relates to your tendency to incline towards similar people. This may mean that promoting or hiring someone who shares the same gender, age, educational background, race, or you may have an affinity with the person you have attended the same college, hail from the same town, or they remind you of someone you like or know. Although you may have some affinity with individuals, your micro-affirmations play out more than they would have.

For example, if they say that they are a little nervous, you may offer encouraging words or smile at them, whereas if the person you share no connection with tells you the same thing, you perhaps would not be as warm towards them as with the former.

Methods for Combating Implicit Bias

The following are some strategies for combating implicit biases:

  • Become more conscious of your prejudices and the origins of your biases
  • Improve your exposure to members of various groups and develop interpersonal interactions with people different from you. Concentrate on seeing people as individuals rather than members of a group
  • Intentionally concentrate on and critically challenge your own internalized preconceptions.
  • Take some time to consider how you make judgments that affect others and be open to the possibility of prejudice.

Conclusion – Be Proactive

It is natural to feel uncomfortable when you start to know how bias affects you, as it is not readily accepted that you may negatively impact others. However, refusing to acknowledge your biases will impede you from having the positive impact you want. Bias is a natural aspect of being a human. All have biases, and everybody makes mistakes. But what matters most is what you choose to overcome it.

Implicit bias affects social situations, school, and the workplace. It would be best to avoid it through conscious decision-making and awareness. Take inventory of your biases and layout various strategies to overcome them. It helps you lead to a more balanced and equitable society.

Types of Unconscious Bias, their Effects and Solutions

Types of Unconscious Bias, their Effects and Solutions

Unconscious Bias: As more firms focus on diversity and inclusion, “unconscious bias” is becoming more common in the workplace. Company executives and decision-makers across industries are stepping up efforts to recognize prejudice in their firms’ hiring, recruiting, and management practices in order to foster a more inclusive workplace atmosphere.

As individuals, being able to recognize unconscious biases in yourself and others can help you make better decisions in both your professional and personal lives. But, it is not always straightforward to understand unconscious bias and its many types. In this article, you will get to know the basics of unconscious bias, including its types, effects, and solutions.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Also known as implicit biases, unconscious biases constantly affect your actions. Informed by your values, backgrounds, and experiences, these biases are crucial in helping your mind efficiently and quickly navigate the world around you. Unfortunately, however, these biases can often be informed by inaccurate and harmful stereotypes. As a result, people can be discriminated against, harming workplace equality, productivity, culture, and opportunity.

When you acquire a rapid opinion on a person or circumstance without being consciously aware of it, this is known as unconscious or implicit bias. Biases are formed in your brain due to our understanding of social situations, cultures, emotional reactions, attitudes, stereotypes, and other factors. You learn these things throughout your lives due to your media exposure and experiences.

When it comes to hiring, unconscious bias can dramatically sway your decision. While it’s crucial to use your experience to evaluate applications, it’s an issue when your assumptions, preferences, and expectations become too powerful.

Even if you interpret a bias positively in your mind, it can nevertheless lead to unfair favoritism. For example, it’s still an unconscious bias if you prefer an applicant who went to the same university as you equate it with intelligence. A more excellent education does not automatically imply that they are brighter than other contenders.

It isn’t easy to overcome your preconceptions when it comes to recruitment. During interviews, gut feelings and first impressions are extremely important. But on the other hand, unconscious bias must be avoided since it can lead to inaccurate, unfair judgments, overlooked talent, or, in the worst-case scenario, discrimination.

The beliefs are buried deep within your minds, and you are often unaware of their existence. Unlike conscious or explicit biases, unconscious biases are not prejudiced on purpose. Scientists have concluded that your minds are programmed to make assumptions and associations to help you digest information more quickly. Still, it doesn’t make them any less destructive to the people affected by them.

How Does Unconscious Bias Affect Your Actions?

Most of you might believe that you are unbiased and ethical. You think you are a good decision-maker, able to size up a venture deal or a job candidate objectively and reach a rational and fair conclusion in your organization’s best interest. However, over twenty years of research shows that most people fall regretfully short of their inflated self-perception.

Biases affect you and your decision-making processes in various ways. It affects your:

  • Perception: how you perceive reality and see people
  • Attitude: the way you react towards some people
  • Behavior: how friendly or receptive you are towards some people
  • Attention: which aspect of a person do you pay most attention to
  • Listening Skills: how much you actively listen to what some people say
  • Micro-affirmations: how little or how much you give comfort to some people in certain situations

Types of Unconscious Bias

Attribution Bias

When you mistakenly assess the reasons for other people’s experiences and accomplishments, you call it attribution bias. This usually means that you assume that people’s triumphs are attributable to luck rather than work or competence, which is thought to be the cause of their negative experiences or failures.

Attribution bias can cause managers to overlook candidates’ successes, affecting recruitment and performance evaluations, allowing exceptional people to pass them by who could have otherwise been a valuable contribution to their teams and the company.

Rather than jumping to assumptions, you should carefully investigate the causes behind people’s histories and successes to ensure you don’t fall victim to attribution bias. This can include analyzing performance indicators, thoroughly analyzing an employee’s role in successful or unsuccessful initiatives, and analyzing a variety of work examples in the workplace.

Unconscious Bias

Affinity Bias

When you treat someone more favorably just because they are similar to you or those you know, this is known as affinity bias or similarity bias. Similarities might encompass anything from likes, dislikes, or looks to schooling or work background.

Affinity bias must be avoided when forming diverse teams. However, when it comes to hiring, it might lead to managers hiring people they like but who aren’t really the best fit in terms of experience or skill set. As a result, it can stifle a company’s growth and function, as well as deny opportunities to otherwise qualified candidates.

Ensure that an applicant’s skills and experience take precedence over factors like history or personality, and use blind recruitment practices to avoid affinity bias.

Confirmation Bias

You have succumbed to confirmation bias when you make decisions or draw conclusions about situations or people based on your own experiences, opinions, or prejudices. Yet, early interactions and experiences with individuals, regardless of their present performance or actions, might impact your enduring, long-term attitudes about them if you submit to it.

In the workplace, minimizing confirmation bias entails giving people a second chance as well as recognizing and disregarding your own prejudices to evaluate people properly. In the context of interviews, this also entails using standardized questions to prevent your biases from showing through as you interrogate potential candidates.

Confirmation bias can be destructive not only to others but can also impair your own decision-making at work. Take this illustration, for example.

A business wants to launch a new service, and the marketing department feels it will be a huge success. Therefore, market research is allocated to a member of the team. During their investigation, they discovered various clues indicating the business may not be as profitable as it was initially believed, but they chose to dismiss the data as an aberration. Instead, they exclusively consider studies that support the team’s existing beliefs.

Confirmation bias clouds your judgment and traps you in a circle of different biases. In this case, all data is not taken into account. Instead, the team looks for evidence indicating the new service will be a significant success.

Conformity Bias

Conformity bias refers to the pressure you feel to act based on the actions of others rather than your own independent reasoning. The bias is linked to your need to please and conform to others around you.

This prejudice is a significant issue in the workplace since it can lead to groupthink when debates become echo chambers for the same or similar points of view or cultures where decisions aren’t thoroughly questioned. Conformity bias can result in senior employees wielding undue influence over recruiting, promotion, and other company procedures, as well as poor decision-making that negatively impacts business performance.

Create and support a workplace culture that allows employees to express their ideas and opinions constructively and sees bosses actively listening to their teams’ concerns to combat conformity bias.

Attractiveness Bias

Also known as beauty bias, attractiveness bias occurs when you perceive attractive people as more competent at their employment while viewing ugly and exceptionally handsome people as less competent.

This bias has its roots in evolutionary psychology, where more attractive people are thought to be more charismatic and persuasive. In contrast, unattractive people are supposed to lack these qualities, and beautiful people are thought to have succeeded in life because of their looks rather than their accomplishments.

To overcome attractiveness bias, make sure that abilities and accomplishments, not beauty standards, are used to determine decisions when hiring, promoting, or managing your workforce.

Gender Bias

Gender bias occurs when you have a preference for one gender over the other. Gender bias impacts women significantly more than it does men. It can lead to both women and men employing more male job prospects and having an impact on the positions men and women are perceived to be best at fulfilling.

You can also read our related article on this topic.

Unconscious Bias

The impacts of gender bias in the workplace are apparent:

  • More males in senior positions.
  • Employing more men than women, and for specific tasks.
  • Resulting in a team that is defined by its lack of diversity rather than its members’ skills and accomplishments.

To overcome gender bias, resumes must be anonymized, in addition to the setting of diversity hiring targets to ensure that your company’s gender mix is nearly equal.

Perception Bias

When you treat others based on preconceptions and broad assumptions that are often wrong, you engage in perception bias. It can include a variety of other biases, such as age, gender, and height, and has similar consequences on organizations, such as rejecting talent and diminishing diversity.

To be ignored, individuals must be conscious of their biases, which can be accomplished by flipping bias when you are about to act on it. This includes shifting the form of bias between the two things you are comparing. For example, the gender of two hires and analyzing how your brains react to the roles being exchanged. If their skills do not match their gender, the probability is relatively high that you are biased.

Contrast Effect

It is a bias that makes you compare one thing to another even though there are many other things in the set to compare.

Consider recruitment, for example. When faced with 30 resumes or interviews to review, you may find yourself comparing one to the next and ignoring the rest. Even if the following applicant was significantly better than others, one great interview could make the next interviewee appear terrible. On the other hand, a truly bad interviewee can make a mediocre hire appear outstanding.

The result in the workplace could be that exceptional candidates are turned down solely because of their position in the interview process, while good, dependable employees may be denied promotions owing to their meeting timing. Therefore, create well-structured review mechanisms that simultaneously assess all hires or workers, not just some, to counteract the contrast effect.

Horns Effect

When you build a whole image of someone based on a single negative feature, it’s called the horns effect. The horns effect, which is the polar opposite of the halo effect, has comparable commercial implications, disqualifying employees who are generally good but have done something potentially small wrong, thereby removing the benefit of the doubt.

A person arriving at an organization for a job interview is one example of this bias. They don’t notice an employee walking behind them when they enter the building, so they don’t hold the door open. But unfortunately, this is the individual who will be conducting the interview. Besides, though the applicant didn’t even see them, their chances to get the job have been skewed because of the tainted judgment of the interviewer of the applicant.

When interviewing potential workers, you must avoid jumping to judgments and use procedures such as standardized interview questions and blind interviewing to prevent the horns effect.


Unconscious bias manifests itself in a variety of ways, making it difficult to determine which to address first and how to do so. However, being conscious of these biases might help you counteract their power over you and make more informed hiring and promotion decisions. Consider an unconscious bias training program for your employees if you want them to learn more about these biases and how and where they can occur in your company. Your team will learn how to recognize and manage different types of prejudice and what rules and procedures to implement to prevent systemic bias in your company.

Belief bias vs Belief perseverance – Sentiments overruling Logic

Belief bias vs Belief perseverance – Sentiments overruling Logic

What is belief bias vs belief perseverance? Wikipedia defined belief bias as the tendency to judge the strength of an argument based on the plausibility of their conclusion rather than how strongly they support the conclusion. It is one of the most common cognitive biases. This means that we are more likely to accept the outcome of something if it matches our core values. It is an extremely common error. Believe bias also emphasizes that when a person makes an argument, we agree once the conclusion matches our beliefs. You are presuming on the validity of someone’s argument when belief bias comes into play. The belief is based on the believability of the person’s conclusion.

On the other hand, belief perseverance can be defined as the tendency to stick to one’s belief in the face of evidence that contradicts them. This comes when people show unwavering faith in certain beliefs and refuse to change when proved wrong. Believe perseverance is said to be a state wherein a person refuses to change his belief after being proven wrong. It also refers to belief persistence. It is the inability of people to accept new ways that contradict their beliefs. Simply put as holding on to a belief when they are not supposed to do so.

Relationship between belief bias and belief perseverance

One might think it is not bad to maintain core values and principles. It is not bad at all; in fact, it is good to stick to one’s values and principles. Our core values are what describe us. They blend in with our character and present us to people. Core values distinct you out of the many. That is where the issue of belief bias comes in. Human beings generally support a conclusion that relates to their belief. That’s human. In belief bias, we just ignore the premise and consider the conclusion.

People tend to support conclusions not based on validity but on how it conforms to their beliefs and practices. Belief bias makes people put their values first above any other thing. In the reasoning, judgment, and decision-making process, belief bias favors values and neglects validity. Their judgment is sentimentally clouded by their values and principles.  Such people can stick to those values even after being proven wrong. The relationship between belief bias and belief perseverance is glaring.

A person can combine the two. Once he accepts a conclusion based on conformity to his values, it will be very hard to change even if proven wrong. The defense of his values will not allow him to easily give them up. It can also happen in the way a manager runs his company. A leader can stick to maintaining values while making decisions. When considering ideas to implement, a leader can cancel an idea once it doesn’t conform to the values of the group.

People are likely to endorse an argument if the conclusion doesn’t alter their beliefs and values.

A company might fail to perform or sign some deals with other companies that don’t conform to their values.

Errors in belief perseverance

Here are some Errors in belief perseverance:

Conservatism bias

This belief perseverance error occurs when people fail to integrate new knowledge and end up retaining their old beliefs. This often happens when people are not open to change. New information can alter their conclusion and judgments.

Confirmation bias

This error is belief perseverance, in which people look for information that confirms their beliefs. They tend to overlook that information that contradicts their beliefs. A common example is only considering the positive sides of investment and ignoring the negative part.

Illusion of Control

The illusion of control is an error of belief perseverance in which people think they can influence the outcome when they cannot. This thought can be persuasive enough to make decisions. The illusion of control influences our judgments and decision by giving us certain reliability on what we know.

Representativeness bias

In this error, people use past experience or information to classify new information. This is shown when using historical trends to determine conclusions. It is judging the past information as the standard for new information.

Hindsight bias

Hindsight bias is seeing actions as predictable occurrences without a shred of substantial evidence backing it. In this error, people see past events as unfailing and inevitable.

belief bias vs belief perseverance

Factors that can influence belief bias

Time: Research has shown that the amount of time available for thinking can influence the conclusion. If the time available is small, there is a higher probability of belief biased conclusions. And if the time available is much, there is time for logical reasoning. There is an imbalance in logical thinking and belief bias thinking with time differences.

Nature of argument: The nature of argument has a lot to say when deciding the conclusion. A negative argument will attract an emotional conclusion from the people. For instance, when dealing with issues pertaining to children and women, emotional support is attached. A neutral argument will be treated logically.

Available resources and instructions: In an experiment carried out in 1994. People were given detailed information about the subject which requires them to make logical conclusions. A higher percentage of the people reject invalid arguments with convincing conclusions. The same set of people was given arguments with little information about the argument. The result was belief-biased. It shows that the effects of belief bias can be reduced when elaborate information and resources are available.

Factors that can influence belief perseverance

Belief perseverance can be influenced by some factors, they include:

Readiness to change: The willingness to change can bring about belief perseverance. When people are not ready to change, they will stick to their beliefs. The change will require people to adopt new information. New information will bring about a shift in belief. No matter how much you try to change a person, the efforts will be futile if the readiness is not there.

Religious or ethnic stronghold: Religion and ethnic morality blindfold people from seeing the light even when their beliefs have been proven wrong. It is very hard to change a religious fanatic. They tend to accept assumptions based on their religious or ethnic standards. When all odds are against their beliefs, they still hold onto it. Religious and ethnic fanatics are always partial with judgment and conclusion. They analyze every argument from their religious or ethnic standards.

Fear of being left out: The fear of being left out can influence belief perseverance. It commonly happens among peers or groups. Once a member of a group sees the light, the fear of being tagged a betrayal keeps them a prisoner of their belief.

Types of belief perseverance

There are three types of belief perseverance:

  1. Self-impression: This is the belief about one’s self. Such beliefs include everything from the body looks, shape, and figure to skills, intelligence, and abilities. It is a way a person sees themselves.
  2. Social impression: It is the belief about other people. We have different impressions about some specific people. These people include family members, friends, or someone we know through social media.
  3. Social theory: Social theory is the belief about how the world works. It includes beliefs about the way some groups of people think, interact and behave. The social theory also encompasses ethnic disparity, stereotypes, racial differences, gender roles, etc.

How to counter belief bias and belief perseverance

So far, we have decisions to make; we may be guilty of them anytime. If not eradicated, they can be reduced. What are the ways to counter them?

One of the ways to do that is flexibility in argument, judgment, and decision-making. The rigidity can cause belief bias and belief perseverance. Flexibility is characterized by the readiness to change and adapt to new or different requirements. Another thing is to be open to change. Be willing to learn new things and comprehend new ideas.

In addition, don’t be stuck in the past. Try as much as possible not to be influenced by past experience. Ask for people’s opinions if you feel you are biased in your belief or belief persevere.  Ask a trusted friend for a different point of view other than what you already know.

Finally, belief bias and belief perseverance can help you attain confidence about what you know or what your value stands for. In some cases, it can block you from making the right decisions. Try and question things, gather information about something before making a judgment or drawing a conclusion.

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