cognitive biases: the self-serving bias

Have you come to an interview with the assurance that you will not get the job, even though you know that the fault was not yours?

Have you ever left a test, knowing that you have done fatal, but because the exam have gone to catch?

But, however, when we get a win, merit is always ours. Or not? It is the typical “have suspended me” or “I have approved.” Almost we never heard anyone say, “I have approved” or “I failed”. Without going any further, we can hear all weekends in sports press wheels worldwide. Excuses to justify the defeats, personal work that supports victories.

Occasionally, comes well reassess our thinking, the way we think, we assign blame or credit. Therefore, you must know what psychologists call cognitive biases or, in other words, mistakes we make when thinking. Among them is the self-serving bias or self-serving bias, which we “authorizes” adjudicarnos goals while avoiding happy.

Usually done patent, for example, in the questionnaires presented to the public, especially when it comes to driving skills. Have you ever met someone declaring a driver whose skills are below average? Apparently, according to the surveys conducted, 9 out of 10 drivers drive better than the average driver. In a questionnaire CollegeBoard asked to 892,000 seniors in high school on their “ability to get along with others,” 0 percent (no) was autoasignó below the average, while 60 percent autoasignaron in the top 10 percent, and and a quarter of students autoasignó in the top 1 percent. Among university professors, 90 percent stated above average. And, in a family atmosphere, when asked to marriages on the contribution of each to housework, the sum of the two percentages exceeds 100 percent handsomely.

As can be seen, the vision person l we have often inflated, so often incomprehensible to us that we have not gotten a job interview or that the rise would have given someone who not us. How can it be possible? If we are the best, or do not you?

When we compare ourselves with others, especially in questionnaires, we are above average in all, in terms of life expectancy, intelligence … As Freud had in his Interpretation of Dreams, in the anecdote in which a husband commented to his wife, “if one of us dies, I move to Paris,” what comes to be interpreted as I’m sure I who survive.

If all this is true, why do we play this trick on the mind? Why we deceive so? The reason may be that this elevation of self-esteem work as a self-defense mechanism that protects us from depression and stress, and also keeps intact all our hope, because hope is the last thing you lose.

Like everything in life, establish a healthy balance between this personal elevation and self-denigration is not easy. However, being aware of this cognitive bias if we can help maintain humility in times of euphoria and bring out the personal responsibility when things do not go quite right. The important thing is to keep learning, progressing, improving every day a little more.

Sources: The Interpretation of Dreams. Sigmund Freud

Cognitive Humility. Gary Marcus. This Will Make You Smarter

So You Are Not So Smart. David McRaney.

Memory. Alan Baddeley. Michael W. Eysenck. Michael C. Anderson.