Objectivity Illusion

Illusion of Objectivity

Have a conversation with some “experts” on their chosen subject, and you may well detect their Objectivity Illusion. Now, I better be careful, or you could be accusing me of this flaw. Well, it is true. I’m pretty sure that I have this illusion also, ha! How we conquer this illusion is not so easy, but being able to admit it and also having someone point out any biased flaws in our argument or how we present it does help, I feel.

Also, listen out for the absolute language we can tend to use. From my experience, “experts” tend to use more didactic and dogmatic language like “This will happen and that that won’t happen…” as opposed to qualifying their statement with “I think..” or “to me, that seems…” etc etc.

Objectivity Illusion – The tendency of people to see themselves as more impartial, more insightful, and less biased than others. ……..Various studies have shown that people are aware of the objectivity illusion and can recognize it in others yet fail to identify the phenomenon in their own judgments. See also bias blind spot.

From the APA Psychology Dictionary:

So, to a lesser or greater degree, we all have an objectivity illusion, and probably why, unbeknownst to us, we have so many conversations. I believe that the main reason we have conversation is for making sure. We are implicitly making sure our illusions of objectivity and biases, in general, don’t get out of control.
A bit like monkeys grooming each other.

So, imagine if we agreed that I could actively object to any of your biases when they reared their ugly head and vice versa? I say “object” because we can tend to need a warning or cautioning to snap us out of our biased views and behavior. Yes, we can easily get sucked into our own biases and so easily mislead others along the way (don’t drink the Kool-aid). As I mentioned, I seem to spot it all over Linkedin in academia and their chosen fields. And oh, how they seem to hate it when their illusion of objectivity and general bias are pointed out
(yes! me too, ouch!).

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an explicitly agreed way to allude to someone’s biased, “fly being open,” without them taking offense—time to see if I can get some explicit agreements up front before entering into discussions, from now on. I will feel much safer. That is, psychologically safer.

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