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  • Writer's pictureIysha co-founder

Under pressure check your biases.

Updated: May 12, 2020

Under pressure, for very good reasons, most of us tend to employ what Kahneman and Tversky called System 1 thinking – fast, instinctive and emotional decision-making.  This can leave us prey to biases which distort perception and judgement.  

Among these are:

  • Hero bias – setting unreasonable expectations for ourselves, and feeling guilty or incompetent when we don’t meet them

  • Loss aversion – constantly framing situations in terms of loss (e.g. mortality rates) rather than gains or successes (e.g. survival or patient discharge rates)

  • Control illusion – the tendency to overestimate one’s ability to influence events.

As a counter to these and related biases, it can help to have a few trusted reality check questions up your sleeve, such as:

  • What assumptions am I making here?

  • What can I control in this situation?

  • What assets do I bring (e.g. from my past experience and current abilities)?

  • What do I know works?

  • What is important right now?

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