How Bias Influences Critical Thinking

February 23, 2014
Captain E.F. Rollins

How Bias Influences Critical Thinking
I recently made a decision about a person’s character. At work, we have an onsite café which is managed by an outside company. The manager of the café is not well liked by some employees of my company and most employees of the company that manages the café. I had not had any direct dealings with him so did not have an opinion one way or another. A few weeks ago, one of the chefs decided to leave the employment of this company. When this young man told his manager he was leaving, the manager very rudely told him he was making a huge mistake. Also, around the same time I learned that this manager had fired another of his workers without cause. All of this, of course, was relayed to me from a coworker. I had no first-hand knowledge or concrete facts but still changed my opinion of this manager to one of strong dislike. Automatically, I thought this manager to be rude, egotistical, and insensitive. I was willing to believe these negative things about this manager which is negativity bias (University of Phoenix, 2012). While all of these things may be true, I allowed negative remarks made by someone else to color my decision. If these are not true, I have come to an incorrect conclusion about this manager. Since I do not have any facts to back up a decision one way or another regarding this manager, I should not be making a decision one way or another.

University of Phoenix. (2012). What is critical thinking, anyway? Retrieved from University of
Phoenix, CRT205 - Critical Thinking website.