Available for pre-order now, launching Nov 19th.

Pocket Biases

Keep your friends close and your cognitive biases closer.

You can have every bias in your pocket by adding this website to your mobile phone’s homescreen.

This app is built using a really cool new service from Glide that lets you turn any spreadsheet into an app. 99% of the awesome here is thanks to their great work.

Since I get this question a lot, I’ll answer it pre-emptively. “What can I do to be less biased?” My answer, after thinking about this for many years, is that the best we can do is to reduce the time and energy we expend trying to defend our biases and blind spots when they’re challenged. I call it developing honest bias.

Some tips on how to use this app to develop honest bias:

1. Focus on the strategies more than the biases

You don’t need to remember all 200 biases, because you can look them up here any time if one’s on the tip of your tongue. Instead, it might be easier to remember the 13 strategies. They represent the shortcuts we take in order to make decisions and take actions.

2. Consider what causes the anxiety that leads to bias

  • 🧠 Information in your head: there’s too much information in the universe to process, so we filter most of it out.
  • ❤️ Beliefs in your heart: everything is confusing until we make sense of it by telling a story. This is where we get our meaning from.
  • 🖐 Plans in your hands: time is short and we have to get things done, so we jump to conclusions and take actions with what we have.

3. Notice bias in our brains and in everything else around us

These biases existed first in our brains, but you can also find them in the technology we use, in the institutions we’ve built, and the cultural norms we practice. They’re everywhere. The best we can do is develop “honest bias”. I think of this as a dedication to remaining open to our own limitations, listening to evidence that contradicts our beliefs, inviting diverse perspectives to the table, and being willing to be uncomfortable with the fact that the universe is big, we are small, and there’s no ultimate solution to any of this.

This app is really just a starting point for understanding how you can find better ways to think, communicate, and act that are in line with your intentions. Hope you find it useful!

I also started a new Twitter account (@pocketbiases) that will tweet out a bias-a-day for the next 200ish days. It’s another way to keep all this fresh in our minds so we can remember to notice them in our thoughts.

Visit Pocket Biases

Added to the Cognitive Biases pile.
Part of the ✨ Book! project.
May 10, 2019

Buster Benson (@buster) is a writer and builder of things. If you're new here, check the about page or see my entire life on a page.

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