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Educating yourself about these biases as well as potential strategies for mitigation can help you avoid prejudice in your decision-making.
I f there’s one thing the AEC industry relies on consistently, it’s the quintessential “gut feel.” Whether in terms of building design, hiring, marketing, or risk management, many firms rely on what feels right and seems like the best course of action. If you are making decisions based on your gut feel, you’re inviting unconscious bias to plague nearly every decision you make.
❚ ❚ Confirmation bias. The tendency for people to recall information that supports their own prior beliefs or thoughts on a subject. Effects: While a great majority of AEC professionals are logic- and evidence-driven decision-makers, confirmation bias severely skews and distorts this idealistic methodology simply because one piece of unbiased evidence will be interpreted differently by two individuals with varying backgrounds. While you may think your opinions are rational and impartial, your experiences will undoubtedly steer you to interpret evidence to reaffirm your initial perspective. Mitigation: The two main strategies for resisting confirmation bias are to avoid formulating
Bias is simply a prejudice or judgment made unfairly in favor of one path of thinking compared to another. Biases may be held by individuals, teams, or entire firms, and these biases typically fall into two categories, conscious (explicit) bias and unconscious (implicit) bias. While some of the most socially prevalent and emphasized biases regard ethnicity or race, biases can exist toward virtually any social characteristic including education level, age, weight, and many others. While it is impossible to truly eliminate biases from your perspective as they are continually formed by your lifelong experiences, there are several strategies to mitigating their influence on your decision-making. Below are several of the most common biases prevalent in the AEC industry accompanied by strategies for mitigation.
See MITCHELL SHOPE, page 10
THE ZWEIG LETTER AUGUST 3, 2020, ISSUE 1355
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