How to deal with cognitive bias in decision making | The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

How to deal with cognitive bias in decision making

Research Briefing

Keywords: Decision-making, problem-solving, cognitive bias, leadership, team thinking

Cognitive bias is probably responsible for more errors in decision-making by leaders than any other cause. Many studies have shown that cognitive bias often leads to irrational, ineffective and costly decisions in organisations. Cognitive bias has been found to be responsible for inaccurate assumptions, inadequate problem diagnosis and poor decisions and judgements. This has been found to be the case, particularly in situations of complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity where cognitive bias frequently leads to perceptual distortions and faulty judgement making.

Previous studies have demonstrated the effect of cognitive bias in contributing to poor decision-making in business, in the judicial system, in healthcare, in the aeronautics industry, in many aspects of foreign policy and domestic politics to the extent that it is most certainly contributed to the declaration of wars and has on at least one occasion almost resulted in a nuclear war.

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