My goal on “second Mondays” is to provide a quick educational session on a behavioral bias that might help you with choices you make in your professional, personal, and financial life. A study has shown that when financial professionals received education on these biases, their performance improved. Here’s hoping this can do the same for you!
Conservatism Bias: A mental process in which people cling to their prior views or forecasts at the expense of acknowledging new information
Similar to cognitive dissonance, which we reviewed two weeks ago, conservatism bias is the case where we do not want to change our minds. This can be because we like our old model of the world. This might be because we don’t feel we have a good way of determining if the new information is more accurate than the old. It may be because we’re busy with the rest of our lives and don’t feel we have the time to review how this new information can change various aspects of our perspective and how it might change our behaviors. And we might not want to change those behaviors.
A quote I like is “We are often experts in a past version of the world.” We sometimes have pulled in information and created world views that were good and quite accurate for our circumstances at the time. But if those views no longer reflect reality, they can be harmful to us as we go forward, as they lead to actions that do not have the best possibilities of success, nor lead to the success we expect.
Thought experiment for you this week: consider a decision you expect you’ll have to make this week that you have made several times before. Maybe it is which parts of a report to review closely. Maybe it is figuring out what to eat on date night. Think of the information you review. What information is usually the same? What if circumstances have changed, how will that affect your thinking, and what you eventually end up doing?
I hope this can help you make better decisions this week!