The prevalence of overly biased thinking is something we seem to be confronted with more and more. Increasingly, I hear people questioning how we got here, why, and what can be done about it. Virginia Tech professor Ann-Sophie Chaxel conducted a study to see if people can be led toward less biased thinking and open their minds to another perspective.
Chaxel points out that we think we are objective, when in fact we are unconsciously distorting information to confirm our pre-existing beliefs. Our need for “cognitive consistency” drives our lack of openness to information that contradicts what we believe.
The results of her study suggest that exposure to beliefs that are different from our own can counteract our tendency to be biased. This finding is a great argument in support of diversity of all kinds in the workplace and in our lives.