ResourcesWhitepaperBias free predictive selectionUnconscious bias

Unconscious bias

Unconscious bias, also called implicit bias, is a form of mental shortcuts based on social norms and stereotypes that is often unintentional, automatic, and outside our awareness. Implicit biases have evolutionary roots that increased our ancestors chances of survival through “ingroup” vs. “out-group” (good vs. bad) discrimination in the evolutionary journey of millions of years.

While those circumstances are not applicable in the modern society, the ingrained biases still remain and are harder to eliminate. Over 150 different unconscious biases have been identified. Following are some common biases affecting recruitment decisions.

Confirmation bias: tendency to search for information during the interview process that confirms your pre-existing beliefs.

Halo effect: tendency of a single positive trait or a positive first impression attributing to unverified capabilities or traits in a person. The opposite, a single negative trait overshadowing positive traits, is called the Horn effect.

Leniency effect: an applicant being rated overly positively due to the assessor’s personal context.

Similarity bias: tendency to favor people who are most similar to us, i.e. attributing good personality traits to those whom we can relate.

Attribution bias: tendency to attribute an individual’s success or failure solely to their personal qualities, without considering the context in which they succeeded or failed.


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