Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Cognitive Bias - are you aware?

What is cognitive bias?
A cognitive bias is a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering, or other cognitive process, often occurring as a result of holding onto one's preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information. 

Psychologists study cognitive biases as they relate to memory, reasoning, and decision-making.

What might cognitive bias look like in education?
The Hawthorne effect

This is named after an experiment at the Hawthorne Factory in the US.

Keen to find out how their staff could be more productive, the owners of the factory observed them. Knowing that they were being watched, the employees worked much harder and productivity increased. When they were no longer being observed, productivity returned to normal rates.

This has some interesting implications for teacher observations, as it is difficult to give someone feedback on how they are doing if your mere presence alters how they act. Having regular low-stakes observation that focuses on feedback rather than judgement should go a long way to remedying this.

Likewise, if pupils are undergoing an intervention to improve a particular area and they know they are part of an intervention, it will probably impact their subsequent behaviour. This is why subtle and stealthy interventions are likely to have greater impact.

Read the full article here

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