Role Of Unconscious Bias In Life

Is there any benefit to harboring Bias?

Bias may result from social conditioning – social stereotypes, attitudes, opinions belief systems, stigma, and assumptions we form about certain groups, particular incidents, or experience we have had interacting with certain groups or people.  This may also be the result of any number of habits we have picked up along the way.

As we encounter people or situations , we instantly compare them with information stored in our memories about people and situations we have encountered before and then based on similarities and characteristics assign categories.  From an evolutionary perspective, bias helps us detect potential threat, identify people and situations that might help us rather than cause us harm.

Category is a collection of things which have enough characteristics in common so that we could consider them as related to each other.  Stereotyping is a way of categorizing information because stereotypes provide a shortcut to help predict outcomes of interactions and helps us navigate through our world with ease and safely.  It helps if we don’t have to start from scratch at every new situation and it mostly builds on what it has seen before.  This helps in conserving energy and dedicate brain resources to higher tasks such as conscious thinking.

Bias in the work environment helps us filter out candidates who may not be suitable for a particular job function.  Because, qualifications are after all biases that have been agreed upon and codified.  For example when a hospital wants to hire a doctor to lead the Neurosurgery department, it is best to hire a neurosurgeon than a family practitioner.  The preference for hiring a Neurosurgeon is justified in this case.

Unconscious Bias is natural and serves a useful purpose in helping us conserve brain energy and make sense of the world we live in.

About Kammitment:  Led by scientist and life-coach Kamalesh (Kam) Rao, Kammitment helps one realize and make a commitment towards self-actualization, through tailored leadership coaching workshops and programs for students and professionals in all stages of their lives, by drawing upon the time-tested principles of Yoga and Mindfulness.  Kam has spent 20 years as a scientist and a manufacturing industry professional in the pharmaceuticals industry, and continues to consult with the industry.  In his free time he leads executive coaching programs for Fortune 100 clients.  A certified Yoga instructor, Kam lives in Oakland, CA and is an active volunteer in the Bay Area community when he is not perfecting the next Pretzel pose in Yoga and its myriad benefits.  For further information, please email [email protected]

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