You are here

Is your brain tricking you?

By Dr Tareq Rasheed , Family Flavours - Oct 25,2020 - Last updated at Oct 25,2020

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Dr Tareq Rasheed

International Consultant and Trainer 


We believe that we’re objective, logical and capable of taking in and evaluating all the information that is available to us when we’re making decisions. Unfortunately, subtle biases can creep in and influence the way we see and think about the world, leading to poor decisions and bad judgments.

The brain processes a lot of information each second. The flow of information our in the brain since childhood, from our surroundings, the environment, parents, teachers, peers and society, in addition to our own experiences with all these variables, are stored in our subconscious mind. With time, they formulate what is known as cognitive bias. These biases are often a result of our brain’s attempt to simplify information processing as we often need to reach decisions with relative speed.

Cognitive bias is the collection of faulty ways of thinking that is hardwired into the human brain. As much as we like to think we’re open-minded and impartial, different biases are continually influencing us and affecting our thinking, behaviours and decisions. We’re often not even aware of a bias that’s distorting our way of thinking.

Gender, culture, education, religion, age, experiences, attitudes and personality types are all variables that affect our perceptions about people, situations and our choices in life. Most often, such cognitive bias poses obstacles towards our freedom to choose and to make the best choice in any given situation.


BCD is the recipe of life


Our journey starts from Birth (B) and ends with Death (D) and in between, we have Choice (C), the secret to our success and happiness.

Each of us has the choice to explore opportunities and utilise potential. Our choices determine our future, our progress and ultimately lead us to indifference, despair or fulfilment. So the quality of our life, the way we go about living and the impact we have on the world around us and vice versa are all linked to the choices we make every moment. But when cognitive bias forms a strong belief in our minds, we limit our capacity to make effective choices.


The theory of choice


1.We have an urge to satisfy a certain need (hunger, love, security, friendship, pleasure and freedom)

2.The brain starts forming a visual perception of how to satisfy this need

3.A positive or negative choice is formulated to satisfy the unmet need in step 1

4.The decision is made

5.This decision will formulate a comprehensive attitude (emotional, spiritual and actions)

6.Our brain starts testing with the outer world the information associated with the decision to validate, change or modify our decision

7.Another filter is tested for the decision and this is a very important filter before the action starts. It is the Value-Based Filter: “Does the action I will take adhere to my values?”

8.We choose to act based on our carefully thought-out decision making process This process of making a choice will help:

• Enhance our self-awareness

• Control our actions and attitudes

• Deepen our beliefs and values

• Increase our expectations from the external world and environment

• Help us reach balanced and healthy decisions 


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

71 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.