How Bias Is Formed

We adults build unconscious bias as we decide and make choices in our daily lives. However, it seems that this phenomenon happens to babies, too, according to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science. The moment a child picks up a toy from a room full of different toys, bias is formed, and he just decided that he doesn’t like the other toys that he didn’t choose.

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“The act of making a choice changes how we feel about our options,” said co-author Alex Silver, a former Johns Hopkins undergraduate who’s now a graduate student in cognitive psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. “Even infants who are really just at the start of making choices for themselves have this bias.”


People assume they choose things that they like. But research suggests that’s sometimes backwards: We like things because we choose them. And, we dislike things that we don’t choose.

“I chose this, so I must like it. I didn’t choose this other thing, so it must not be so good. Adults make these inferences unconsciously,” said co-author Lisa Feigenson, a Johns Hopkins cognitive scientist specializing in child development. “We justify our choice after the fact.”

More details about this study over at Science Daily.

(Image Credit: thedanw/ Pixabay)

Source: neatorama

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