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The congruence bias so completely dominates our minds that we can’t even realize there are alternative theories. We can’t find the real solution because we’re not looking for it. One researcher tested this by giving people lists of numbers that followed a certain rule. (The numbers given were 2, 4, and 6, and they were simply ascending numbers.) People assumed that they were even numbers, or numbers that increased by two, which is a perfectly understandable guess, and not an example of bias. The bias came when people were told that their guess regarding the rule was wrong. Instead of thinking of alternate solutions, they began re-wording their guess. The problem couldn’t be with the concept they’d thought of, just the way they expressed it. –Esther Ingliss-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write some internal monologue for your protagonist that shows the congruence bias at play.

Journaling Prompt: How do you break out of the congruence bias and see other options?

Art Prompt: Congruence bias

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the dangers of the congruence bias and give them strategies for recognizing it and breaking it.

Photo Credit: striatic on Flickr

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