Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Recency

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative

Date:

April 25, 2016

The brain receives so much data at any given moment that it has to filter out some data in order to be able to attend and making meaning of incoming sensory information. When that occurs, we delete, distort, and generalize reality. Authors Samantha Le and Shana Lebowitz offer a useful categorization of cognitive biases that negatively impact accurate and effective decision making. This month we will explore four and offer ways to use States of Mind/Energy Sources to correct the inaccuracies in thinking.

Recency is a bias where we give greater credence to the latest information we have. Sometimes you hear staff members say that their leader does whatever the last person who got to him/her asks for. It is a tendency to make decisions based on how things look today or yesterday without a long term analysis. In order to overcome this bias, we have to develop a longer term view. Here are some questions to invite overcoming this bias:

Now that we have considered how things look to us today, what are the long term trends we have experienced?
How does the current state fit with what we know from the past?
How much of the whole picture are we considering as we analyze this?

As you work this week, listen for recency bias in your own thinking and that of others. How is it manifested? Use strategies of paraphrasing and questioning to bring the bias to consciousness. Invite flexibility in taking a longer term view. Invite craftsmanship by encouraging a broader look at useful data.

Lee, S.& Lebowitz, S. “20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions,” Business Insider. August 26, 2015.

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