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Cognitive Bias #1 – The Introductions!

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Many people have unusual hobbies, skydiving, gardening, making sushi or collecting dolls, just to name a few.  Some of my favorite hobbies deal with reading about psychology and behavioral economics… and a peculiar fascination with martial arts.  For the purposes of this series of blogs, the first part of those hobbies comes to the fore, and with them the concept of cognitive bias.  Although we are all familiar with the term, my own awareness, and delight of them, came when I was studying at the University of Edinburgh for my MSc, and surrounded by an atmosphere of curiosity and, well, clever dudes.

Succinctly put, “cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them and affects the decisions and judgments that they make. … Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain’s attempt to simplify information processing”.  There, that’s the bulk of the notion… however there are a remarkable number of types of cognitive biases, many of which are at least slightly contested within the academic world and candidly sometimes psychology and pop psychology merge accidently.  Fundamentally, as coaches and athletes, the formality doesn’t matter, what does matter is an understanding of the notions behind them and an awareness, as awareness is often enough to avoid the pitfalls they present!

This month we’re doing a brief series of micro-blogs, as I like to call them.  Just enough to make you aware of a subject, but not enough to make the reading arduous.  As with all our blogs, feel free to come back to me with questions or observations, psychology is a big part of our coaching program and this is a small part of that awareness, so there’s no such thing as silly question… (probably :))

Stay tuned for the first installment of the series, coming out next week, or as soon as I get a friend to proof read!

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