Thursday, May 29, 2008

Are you biased? I surely am..

Would it be wrong to say that we all are biased? Or let me put it in a positive light. Is it possible for anyone not to be biased.

I guess understanding our biases can help us understand ourselves better. Please have a look at these different categories of biases in case you are interested in knowing yourself better. It would surely help you in your tough arguments.;) I never knew there were so many psychological traps lying within our minds. :)

Whats the colour of your lens???

Our thoughts, actions, reactions to situations around us are always coloured and influenced to a large extent by our past experiences, our values, principles, culture, education, aspirations etc.

Unless we become cognizant of this 'lens', it is likely that we may not be able to understand or interpret the situation at areas where it actually deserves to be noticed. Or rather I should say that it may prevent us from having a holistic view to situation at hand.

To substantiate my point, recently I floated the idea about coming up with a model orphanage as part of our initiative in Anupam Kher Foundation, and I sought opinion from two experienced persons to begin with. One of them who is a counsellor told me about the things to be kept in mind in an orphanage, challenges of adoloscent kids, the caretakers and their qualification, possibility of volunteers etc. She didn't think too much on the location of the orphanage or the process of building an orphanage in that area and the constraints that it would give birth to.

The other gentleman is VP projects from a major multinational company and he only suggested me on the duration of completion of construction, the cost of inputs, how the existing scarcity of labour and high price of steel and cement would lead to a certain cost etc. He didn't give even a single idea on what should be our approach towards children of different backgrounds, age groups, their education etc.

What I want to say over here is that even after all our experience and qualification we always tend to be driven by what we have experienced in life. Which implies that since our experience would always be restricted and narrow, our analysis more often than not is going to be far from complete. Its scary since it might even be faulty many a times. You can take any decision in the society. On the contrary the reality is always futuristic and it needs to be understood in entirety to do justice to solving the problem at hand.

In the above case both the persons gave very useful insights, but still coloured and limited.

The lesson for me over here is that we should always be aware or conscious of how our thoughts are getting driven at any point in time without actually attaching ourselves to those thoughts completely. Which implies that we should always be open to new thoughts, ideas, directions, people etc. That might help us in thinking systemically and possibly the final answer would be better.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008