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Fight Bias with Content Strategy

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Users’ minds take shortcuts to get through the day. We call these cognitive biases. Usually they’re harmless. Even helpful. But what happens when they’re not?

This talk will use real-world examples to identify some particularly nasty biases and ways to combat them. You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of:

- Common cognitive biases that influence users’ decision-making in ways that can harm them
- Content strategy tips and tricks to help users avoid bad decisions based on those biases
- Ways to avoid having our own biases result in negative outcomes for users

Published in: Internet
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Fight Bias with Content Strategy

  1. 1. Fight Bias with Content Strategy Using Mental Shortcuts for Good Instead of Evil
  2. 2. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com David Dylan Thomas Principal, Content Strategy Think Company
  3. 3. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  4. 4. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  5. 5. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  6. 6. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com What is cognitive bias?
  7. 7. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com A series of shortcuts our minds take that often help, but sometimes hurt.
  8. 8. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  9. 9. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Confirmation Bias
  10. 10. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  11. 11. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com These biases are extremely difficult to combat You may not know you have them (bias blind spot) 90% of cognition happens below the conscious level Even if you do know, you do it anyway!
  12. 12. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com There are content and design choices we can make that can help keep harmful cognitive biases in check (or leverage them for good).
  13. 13. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Blind Résumés
  14. 14. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Whom would you rather hire?
  15. 15. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Why do you need that information?
  16. 16. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Content Strategy: Signal vs. Noise Signal Qualifications Experience Noise Gender Race
  17. 17. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  18. 18. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Cognitive Fluency
  19. 19. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Easy to read = Easy to do
  20. 20. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Hard to read = Hard to do
  21. 21. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  22. 22. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  23. 23. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  24. 24. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Which of these would you rather fill out?
  25. 25. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Which of the following is true? There are 53 African nations in the United Nations There are 55 African nations in the United Nations
  26. 26. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”
  27. 27. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”
  28. 28. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Whom do you trust?
  29. 29. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  30. 30. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com How to fight the framing effect
  31. 31. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  32. 32. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  33. 33. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Should this person drive this car?
  34. 34. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com How might this person drive this car?
  35. 35. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com How might we do a better job of moving people around?
  36. 36. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com What about our own cognitive biases?
  37. 37. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Notational bias
  38. 38. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  39. 39. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  40. 40. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Until 1986, the New York Times prohibited the use of “Ms.” as an honorific for women.
  41. 41. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Language doesn’t just describe reality, it shapes it. Mbiyimoh Ghogomu
  42. 42. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  43. 43. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Confirmation Bias
  44. 44. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  45. 45. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com 2 4 6 ?
  46. 46. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com 2 4 6 8
  47. 47. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com 2 4 6 7
  48. 48. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  49. 49. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Deformation Professionnelle
  50. 50. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  51. 51. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  52. 52. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Our jobs are harder than we think
  53. 53. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  54. 54. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  55. 55. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  56. 56. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com
  57. 57. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Project Maven Battlefield AI
  58. 58. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Project Maven Battlefield AI Dragonfly Censored Search in China
  59. 59. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
  60. 60. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  61. 61. #fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com#fightbias @movie_pundit www.daviddylanthomas.com Thank You

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