Cognitive biases are unconscious distortions of perception of other people or their own qualities. Biases can be implicit or explicit and can be caused by a wide range of different factors. Biases can be a result of moral judgment with negative motivation caused by self-doubt, low self-esteem, egocentric features, and so on. Thus, biases are deeply rooted in people’s perceptions, but they should be overcome as they distort the image of others.
Among the common biases that refer to self-perception, there are different types of overestimating and prejudice. For example, they include overestimating self-ethicality, forgiving own ethical behavior, and overlooking other people’s unethical behavior. They also involve implicit prejudice, favoring members of our own group, and judging on outcomes rather than on the quality of the decision-making process. Thus, people tend to wrongly estimate their own ability to make moral judgments.
Cognitive bias can be also aimed at other people, usually at the people of different groups. In the video “Implicit Bias” examples of implicit social cognition are given. The case when a doctor gave more painkillers to a white person but did not give it to a black one illustrates an example of an implicit bias. Biases are based on stereotypes concerning some groups, for example, students of Asian ancestry are expected to be good at mathematics. The experiments show that most of the biases are wrong. For example, when the musicians were rehearsed behind the curtain, the number of women who were chosen by the jury increased twofold.
Thus, all these examples demonstrate the distortions of perception based on stereotypes. However, people should work on their morality and their perception. It is possible to change the attitude towards others and towards ourselves, and this can make communication easier and more pleasant for both sides.