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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Bias Blind Spot: Structure, Measurement, and Consequences

Irene Scopelliti,  et al.
Management Science 61(10):


People exhibit a bias blind spot: they are less likely to detect bias in themselves than in others. We report the development and validation of an instrument to measure individual differences in the propensity to exhibit the bias blind spot that is unidimensional, internally consistent, has high test-retest reliability, and is discriminated from measures of intelligence, decision-making ability, and personality traits related to self-esteem, self-enhancement, and self-presentation. The scale is predictive of the extent to which people judge their abilities to be better than average for easy tasks and worse than average for difficult tasks, ignore the advice of others, and are responsive to an intervention designed to mitigate a different judgmental bias. These results suggest that the bias blind spot is a distinct metabias resulting from naïve realism rather than other forms of egocentric cognition, and has unique effects on judgment and behavior.


We find that bias blind spot is a latent factor in self-assessments of relative vulnerability to bias. This meta-bias affected the majority of participants in our samples, but exhibited considerable variance across
participants. We present a concise, reliable, and valid measure of individual differences in bias blind spot
that has the ability to predict related biases in self-assessment, advice taking, and responsiveness to bias
reduction training. Given the influence of bias blind spot on consequential judgments and decisions, as
well as receptivity to training, this measure may prove useful across a broad range of domains such as personnel assessment, information analysis, negotiation, consumer decision making, and education.