5 cognitive biases to avoid for better creative decisions
It’s easy to see why these biases evolved.
Picture this: it’s the Pleistocene and you have to make a really quick call on whether to take your tribe into a certain new geographic location. You don’t have time to write a list of pros and cons, then deliberate with the group on the best path of action.
You have to call it.
The same mental shortcuts remain helpful at times.
But they can also get in the way of good choices.
There are over 100 cognitive biases that have been identified by psychologists and economists. Here are the ones most likely to stymy the working lives of creatives:
- Conservatism Belief
When old established information is favoured above new more recent information.
- Dunning-Kruger Effect
When unskilled people overestimate their skills and skilled people underestimate theirs.
- Functional Fixedness
Limits the use of an object to what it is designed for. Absence of this bias is one of the markers for increased creativity. And the practice of relinquishing the bias can help you boost creative thinking.
- Hyperbolic Discounting
This is the tendency to favour short-term immediate gains over longer term gains. Leads to poor long-term decisions.
- Planning Fallacy
The tendency to underestimate the time it will take to complete certain tasks.
Which ones are you most prone to?
Consider some of the poor creative decisions you’ve made. Are they a consequence of a cognitive bias on the list?