5 Common Cognitive Biases to watch out for as a Dog Trainer

5 Common Cognitive Biases To watch out for as a dog trainer (1).jpg

Are you aware that there are over a 100 cognitive biases that try to interfere with your daily, professional and personal life? Just to clarify, a cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that effects the decisions and judgments that people make.

Here is a little summary of the 5 most common cognitive biases for dog trainers:

Anchoring Bias

This bias stands for being over reliant on the first piece of information a person gets.

For example: The dog trainer doesn’t take an in depth assessment during the consult and bases the behaviour modification program/ training on the first piece of given information.

Bandwagon Effect

The probability of one person adopting a belief increases based on the number of people who hold that belief (=groupthinking).

For example: These days opinions and beliefs are easily accessible through social media, and in fact, the more people share the same belief and for instance like a post, the more people will see it. So just because something is popular and present in your awareness doesn’t make it evidence based or true. It is often just great marketing.

Blind Spot Bias

Failing to recognize your own cognitive biases is a bias in itself. People notice cognitive and motivational biases much more in others than in themselves.

For example: It is of great importance that your professional environment (e.g. mentors, trainers, peers) is based on respect, authenticity and self-reflection and that it is welcomed to share one’s weaknesses. Not just in dog handling skills, but also in personal skills. True learning and self-development can only happen if a person is aware of their blindspots and has enough trust in another person to share and work on it.

Salience Bias

Our tendency to focus on the most easily recognizable features of a person or a concept.

For example: You are making a judgement and trying to explain someone's behavior (e.g. one of your clients) but only have the observable external information from that individual and haven’t done a true assessment or taken the time to find out more about that person. 

Overconfidence Bias

Some of us are too confident in our abilities, and this causes us to take greater risks in our lives.

For example: Someone early on in their profession might have great confidence and takes higher risks, than someone who has 10 000 hours of experience and decides to take it slower and without taking as much risk.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us. 

Have a great day,