Publishing in Management Science, a team of researchers believe that they have found a near-universal “bias blind spot.” Only one person out of 661 in their study said that he/she is more biased than the average person.
“People seem to have no idea how biased they are. Whether a good decision-maker or a bad one, everyone thinks that they are less biased than their peers,” comments a co-author of the study in a press release. “This susceptibility to the bias blind spot appears to be pervasive, and is unrelated to people’s intelligence, self-esteem, and actual ability to make unbiased judgments and decisions.”
“When physicians receive gifts from pharmaceutical companies, they may claim that the gifts do not affect their decisions about what medicine to prescribe because they have no memory of the gifts biasing their prescriptions,” comments another co-author of the study. “However, if you ask them whether a gift might unconsciously bias the decisions of other physicians, most will agree that other physicians are unconsciously biased by the gifts, while continuing to believe that their own decisions are not. This disparity is the bias blind spot, and occurs for everyone, for many different types of judgments and decisions.”
Everyone has a bias blind spot, researchers find (Carnegie Mellon University press release on ScienceDaily, June 8, 2015)
Scopelliti, Irene, Carey K. Morewedge, Erin McCormick, H. Lauren Min, Sophie Lebrecht, and Karim S. Kassam. “Bias Blind Spot: Structure, Measurement, and Consequences.” Management Science, April 24, 2015, 150424060229007. doi:10.1287/mnsc.2014.2096. (Abstract)