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Detecting and Defeating Bias in Our Everyday Judgments

Katie Gosewehr ('11); Mentors: Peter Kung, Peter Thielke

Abstract: My ongoing project strives to define bias and distinguish between its different manifestations, to determine how to identify and remove bias from our thinking. First, I turned to psychology research on the various models of cognition proposed to describe how we make judgments. I focused on the “dual process” models of judgment-making and adapted these to my own research. According to many psychologists, we rely heavily upon heuristics—strategies we use to solve judgmental problems more quickly and easily. On my view, when we use a heuristic, there is always some danger that it will result in a corresponding bias. If we accept the implications of certain dual process models, then biases are much more natural and integrated into our ways of thinking than previously supposed. As I continue my research, I will focus on ways to identify and eliminate bias, and determine whether and when bias may be inescapable.
Funding provided by The Faucett Family Foundation

Research at Pomona