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In a nutshell conformity bias describes the human tendency people often have to behave like those around them rather than using their own personal judgment. Even when we know better and especially when a whole group of people seem to share the same perception or opinion
Studies show that people are, for example more likely to act in a social or helpful manner if they observe that others are doing it too. Similarly, if a group of people reach a conclusion about something, we tend to reach the same conclusion, even when our perception is different.
Conformity bias may not be a bad thing, I hear you say? Surely following the herd can make sense.
Well, if we look at the downside, conformity bias can lead us to make wrong decisions.
In the corporate context, this can impact our recruitment, teamwork or leadership decisions. Is the candidate really unsuitable just because your fellow interviewers say he is? Is the workplace behaviour really inappropriate? Is that decision about your strategy really that wise? Even, is it ok to cheat or discriminate against others? Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t make it alright
We can beat conformity bias in ourselves and others, with reflection and consideration and a willingness to question and challenge group perceptions and decisions. Relying on our own judgement, even standing up for what you believe is right, can be tough when the herd tells you otherwise.
In our inhouse unconscious bias training, we look at these and other challenges and solutions. Why not take a look www.international-hr.de/Leadershipskills.