This article from the Neuroleadership Institute talks about five cognitive “biases” that impact the decisions we make, Similarity, Expedience, Experience, Distance, and Safety.

As a reminder, a Cognitive Bias is another type of thinking “flaws” similar to Optical Illusions; they are both caused by inaccurate perceptions of real-world situations.

While the Optical Illusion is usually detected (our vision system really is a powerhouse), the types of biases in this article are “invisible” to us in that moment. They require a type of thinking that uses Mental Models, or ways to get around biases, as a framework. Using these frameworks gives us the chance to anticipate when these biases might interfere in our day.

The Thrive platform measures the impact of these biases. If you aren’t watching for the impact of these powerful biases, it’s hard to tell where they are affecting you and your organization. Taking time to measure and have an open mind can go a long way to changing behaviors and making better decisions in your future.

Similarity Biases cause us to see diverse ideas as “weird” because they don’t fit in with what was done in the past, which can lead to a lack of new products or methods. Anchoring is another strong bias that is a component of Similarity Biases. We have strongly rooted beliefs, and these can be seen as irrational, e.g. for years there was strong resistance to seat belts despite the overwhelming fact they saved lives. We were anchored in thinking we did not need seat belts in cars.

If the loss of life isn’t enough to motivate action, imagine how hard it is to change behaviors in less critical areas! Now you can begin to see the cost of a million little “hesitations” due to bias-laden perceptions.

Expedience, or Hyperbolic Discounting, is when we choose the smaller-sooner reward over the larger-later reward (source). This is often the cause for low Lifetime Customer Value – we want to close the deal and get a “win” for this month’s quarterly quota, but in the course of closing that deal you move on too quickly. Thrive mitigates this bias by helping you to continuously listen to your customers. Continuous feedback allows you to make better decisions.

Distance Bias is a growing problem as more people work remotely and do business globally. This bias causes some people to devalue the opinion of those who are not geographically close by. 

Safety Bias is better known as Loss Aversion was discovered by Kahneman/Tversky a couple decades back – they measured that our reaction to a loss is three times greater than a gain of the same size. This type of thinking is very conservative and will stunt your group’s ability to innovate.

When we started 10 years ago we thought of our goal as building a “Cognitive Lens” – one that would allow is to see these biases that are hurting us in unrecognized ways, costing us time, money, and opportunity in the corporate area of Thrive

But as bad a corporate misperceptions can be, the misperceptions by our healthcare clients are deadly, resulting in real pain and loss of lives and loved ones. 

That is at the center of our mission: reduced suffering and better days. If you want to get serious about helping your people do better don’t insult them by giving them a game to play, talk to us at Its time to learn how to create better days for workers and patients by clearing their vision and exposing the truth. We make this easy for you.

Happy Holidays to all of our Thrive friends and partners, make 2020 the year you start seeing things clearly.


Read the original article from NLI here.

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