Graeme Newell

Salience Bias

Salience bias happens because our brain is continually trying to assess the world, while still expending the absolute minimum amount of brain energy. This means we tend to pick out the most prominent features, then disregard the rest. We fixate on what’s conspicuous and miss the subtlety.

The key to beating salience bias is to hone your attention to be deeply present and in the moment. Don’t stop after processing the obvious. Keep going. Don’t let your attention dwindle. Notice the subtle things. Continually ask yourself “what else is here?”

-When entering a room, make it a point to consciously discern each individual present.

-When ingesting information, make two passes – once for the obvious and a second for the subtle.

-When in meetings, ask the group, “what important thing might we be missing here?”

-When reviewing the lists, flip them around. Start at the bottom of your list and work up to the top.