It pays to be a skeptic. Not only can some simple habits help us snap out of unhealthy behaviors that are the product of our biases, we also have the ability to take a more rational look at risk reduction, which benefits society.
This is the message of Julia Galef, President of the Center For Applied Rationality (CFAR). CFAR takes the latest cognitive science research and helps people understand biases, where they occur, and then gives them the tools to break them. The behaviors that result from our biases impact our jobs, our relationships, our business decisions.
A simple and easy technique to overcoming bias, however, is assessing a problem as an outsider. This is an effective tool because we tend to defend certain behaviors simply because we have been doing something for a long time. We don't like to view our commitments as a wasted investment. That is why we need to stand outside ourselves to overcome bias.