This new research serves as a reminder of some of the important considerations required for when we train people to make some of the most important decisions for their businesses; who are they going to select to join them. We need to make sure these decisions are given to the right people, who are adequately trained.
Consider three human biases that you may already have heard of: most of us think we’re better than average at most things (illusory superiority or the Lake Wobegon Effect); we’re also prone to “confirmation bias”, favouring evidence that supports our existing views; and we’re also susceptible to the “endowment effect” which describes the extra value we place on things, just as soon as they are ours. A new paper in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology by Aiden Gregg and his colleagues at the University of Southampton documents a new one that combines elements of the three above. Gregg’s team have shown that simply asking participants to imagine that a theory is their own biases them to believe in the truth of that theory – a phenomenon that the researchers have called the Spontaneous Preference For Own Theories (SPOT) Effect.