To start with, what are unconscious biases really? Well, they are some learned assumptions, beliefs, or attitudes which we aren’t necessarily aware of. It is said that everyone has these biases, and they use them as mental shortcuts for faster information processing. We will be exploring some of the major unconscious biases in detail below.
1. Gender Bias
Gender bias is favoring one gender over another. It is also referred to as sexism. To give you an example of this bias, it is often noticed that the hiring panel favors male candidates over female candidates regardless of them holding the same skills and experiences. There is a fair chance of this bias reducing job and career advancements.
Another bias is ageism, which means stereotyping and discriminating groups on the basis of their age. They can be casual or systemic. For example, one can lose a job because of their age, be refused a new credit card, and receive a lower quality of service in a shop or a restaurant.
3. Name Bias
In this kind of bias, it is noticed that they prefer certain names over others. They often judge people who have an anglo origin by their names. This bias is highly experienced at workplaces where the hiring process gets negative if they sense an anglo origin.
4. Beauty Bias
Beauty bias is a social behavior that we might have little control over. It has been seen to affect women on a larger basis. For example, if a woman is gorgeous, she is given the rights and is treated as a leader if compared to a woman who has got average looks.
5. Halo Effect
This is the term where we develop an overall positive impression of someone because of one of their qualities or traits. A suitable example for this bias would be when a hiring manager sees that a candidate has graduated from a prestigious college or university, he will assume that he will excel at the job.
6. Horns Effect
The horns effect is completely the opposite of the halo effect. This effect causes us to have a negative effect on someone based on their trait or experience. For example, the new team member thinks that the constructive criticism that they got from their manager is very harsh and straightforward.
7. Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek assurance and confirmation from people of your choice in order to reflect it on your idea and thoughts. To give you an example, a product developer comes up with an idea for the athletic market. Although the market shows a little less interest in the idea, the developer will ask his friends and family who will support the idea,
8. Conformity Bias
Conformity bias refers to the tendency to take cues for proper behavior in most contexts from the actions of others instead of exercising our own independent judgment. For example, you have to decide between two proposals. You let teams A and B make a decision. Team A is better, but the rest is leaning towards B. Now, you are swayed by the opinions and vote for B because everyone else did.
9. Authority Bias
In simple words, authority bias is the general tendency to attribute greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure to be greatly influenced by that opinion. To give you an example, if a staff member is thoroughly following their manager’s instructions on writing a report in a way that matches the manager’s opinions, this could jeopardize the integrity of the report.
10. Overconfidence Bias
This is a bias where people think that they are better at certain activities than they actually are. For an elaborate understanding, if an overconfident CEO decides to acquire a startup that he believes in, it will bring high returns even though their performance is indicating something else.