What Is Bias?

A bias is a tendency. Most biases—like the preference to eat food instead of paper clips—are helpful. But cognitive shortcuts can cause problems when we're not aware of them and apply them inappropriately, leading to rash decisions or discriminatory practices. Stereotype threat, for example, is the confirmation of negative stereotypes about another person's race, gender, group, and so on. Relying on biases but keeping them in check requires a delicate balance of self-awareness.

Recent posts on Bias

Gutsy Third Person Self-Talk Utilizes Your Vagus Nerve

Excessive first person "self-talk" can increase egocentric bias. That said, using "non-first-person" pronouns and your own name has been found to promote healthy self-distancing.

The Choices We Make Create History, So Choose Wisely

One of the infinite number of choices we make is how we deal with conflicts and disputes.

How Can We Tell Whether Comey's Firing Was Justified?

It's hard to parse complex political accusations. Behavioral science provides a few easy tips on how to do so!

Why Do People Believe Things that Aren’t True?

In the face of our “post-truth” era of politics, it’s hard to know what to believe. According to research, whether we know it or not, most of us harbor false beliefs. Do you?

This is What Institutionalized Sexism Looks Like

How is women's access to affordable health care and services being impacted by the recent GOP plan?

Who Moved My Virtual cheese ?

When you mess with mental models, you run a major risk of slowing down and annoying your customers, potentially losing them all together.

First Responders and Mental Health

We must not delay responding to our first responders.
Public Domain PIc

Darth Socrates: You don’t know the power of Philosophy

Experimental philosophy is all the rage in philosophy. But, like all other fads before, it will fall to philosophy's unanswerable questions.
Source: Pew Research Center

The Psychology of Bias in the Digital Age

By John Nosta on May 09, 2017 in The Digital Self
Subtle yet powerful, the Internet is subconsciously driving our choices.

The Entire Truth of Dr. Mayim Bialik

“I hope that’s what young women and the people who love them will take away from this book—a full treatise on what it is to be female.”

What Millennials Learned About Bias From This Harvard Test

There's a lot we can all learn about the conscious and unconscious influencers of bias. Here's one way some people are becoming more aware.

Rats! Sometimes Psychiatrists Get It Wrong

Sometimes things are not what they appear to be in a locked psychiatric inpatient unit. This is a short story about a man who saw rats, and no one believed him.

Trumpcare: When Is Health Insurance Not Really Insurance?

Who benefits when people can't afford to seek out and use health care services and at what cost to our country, its economy, and our society?

Be Positive. Be Neutral. Which Is It?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 05, 2017 in Ambigamy
Six practical tips for managing your loyalties and doubts, your positive certainty and your neutral receptivity, your open-mindedness and your closed-mindedness.
K. Ramsland

H. H. Holmes: Exhumations and Expectations

As we await the results of the high-profile exhumation of H. H. Holmes, we might not want this mystery solved.

When Hiring a Lawyer or Mediator, Buyer Beware

Who is responsible when the public fails to understand the different dispute resolution processes and types of attorneys and mediators available, even after they retain someone?

Confronting Singlism in the Psychology Classroom

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 02, 2017 in Living Single
Guest blogger Joan DelFattore finds that college students are more attuned to singlism now than in the past, but we all still have a lot to learn.

A Climate Scientist's Talk at the March for Science

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on May 02, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
A climate scientist speaks at the march for science in a way that acknowledges the limitations to science, and the value of skepticism and alternative views.

How to Think Our Way Out of a Nightmare Future

Think The Handmaid's Tale is a little too close to home? Maybe it's time we all took stock of these bad habits.

The Trump Effect, Part 2

Like the boost that bullying and racial and religious discrimination have experienced since Donald Trump announced his candidacy, so have sexual harassment and assault.

Why People Still “Feel Sorry” for Only Children

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on May 02, 2017 in Singletons
How many only-child stereotypes can you name?

Expression Leads to Oppression

Marco Rubio's #expressionNOToppression initiative inherently makes no sense.

Save Your Mixed Tears™ and Other Tips for Mixed Living

“Grappling with everything that comes with being mixed can be painful and feel conflicting, but one of your strongest allies in that journey is yourself.”

How Are False Beliefs Harming People?

How are yours and others' misguided biases, beliefs, assumptions, expectations, and values causing harm?

13 Things You Never Knew About College Admissions

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 28, 2017 in Living Single
Evidence-based answers to some of the thorniest questions about fairness in college admissions.

Mona Haydar Speaks Your Language

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 26, 2017 in Brick by Brick
Haydar is no ordinary artist, and the concept behind Haydar’s first single, “Hijabi,” is anything but common.

When Should You Go With Your Intuitions?

Do you trust your gut? Going with your intuitions can be dangerous in some situations. This article helps you see when you should go with your gut, and when you shouldn't.

"Us" and "Them"

By Jann Gumbiner Ph.D. on April 25, 2017 in The Teenage Mind
Many of the principles studied by social psychologists after WWII apply to our current political climate.

How Behavioral Science Can Help Truth Triumph Over Lies

Worried about deceptive political coverage by the media? This article shows how you can take steps to fix this problem!

Is Willful Ignorance a Good Quality in an Attorney?

Why do family law attorneys ignore the research which supports the benefits of a facilitative over an adversarial approach for divorce and family law?