We’ve all got one and we can all be one – but “an ‘asshole’ is not a person but a behavior“, according to blogroll friend of SLABBED and author of “A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABC’s of Conflict Resolution”, Vickie Pynchon.
“We are all blinded by the part we play in disputes” – Amen! “Asshole” is a behavioral tango – “not one person but two” with cognitive biases: “something that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality”.
Resolving conflict requires taking the blinders off and accept mutual responsibly for both the conflict and its resolution. Ouch! It’s so much easier to keep blinders on and see a conflict as “the other guy’s fault” – a “fundamental attribution error” cognitive bias:
“over-attributing intention and under-attributing circumstance to another’s harm-causing behavior while over-attributing circumstance and under-attributing intention to our own harm-causing behavior”
Although each a form of cognitive bias, “clustering illusions” – “seeing patterns where none exist” – and “confirmation bias” – “selecting from a vast amount of data only that which confirms our pre-existing opinions” – feed “fundamental attribution errors“.
What researchers have found is that whenever someone else’s behavior causes us harm, we tend to assume that person intended to cause us the harm we experience or, at a minimum, caused us harm by virtue of their carelessness in regard to our well-being.
Pynchon, an accomplished professional “neutral”, readily admits “mistakes about the intentions and motivations” of another and “the constraints under which they are working” happen in both personal and professional relationships – and, setting aside the personal, we move to a brief review of the asshole behavior and cognitive biases evident in Katrina-related litigation. Continue reading “Hey, asshole, your “cognitive biases” are showing – Pynchon’s new book adds to SLABBED discussion of cognitive maps”