Managing availability bias


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Crafting Solutions to Conflict

Society & Culture

Availability bias, also known as the availability heuristic, is the idea that we tend to value --  overweight even -- information that comes to mind quickly when making decisions. It’s a mental shortcut in processing information. Recent events, those that touch us personally, and those that are highly unusual come to mind more readily.In a conflict, if two people are trying to reach a decision, it’s to be expected that both people are affected by availability bias. And, it’s only logical, that this brain shortcut will lead them to slightly different or tremendously different results. Because they are processing different data. An awareness of this type of bias is an important first step by in itself. Next, we can slow ourselves down in the decision-making process. We can consider if we are giving too much weight to a piece of information or occurrence because it affected us, individually; because it was highly unusual (and thus the subject of lots of attention); or because it happened recently.Do you have comments or suggestions about a topic or guest? An idea or question about conflict management or conflict resolution? Let me know at! And you can learn more about me and my work as a mediator and a Certified CINERGY® Conflict Coach at and the show for free on your favorite podcast app or on the podcast website: you can follow us on Twitter @conflictsolving.