This 40-page booklet is widely
used by: departments and their chairs at campuses and professional schools; deans' councils; search/hiring and tenure/promotion committees;
faculty developers; leadership-development programs for established and emerging leaders; ADVANCE campus programs; diversity
councils and officers; campus presidents and their executive committees; institutes and labs, including independent government
complete title: RISING ABOVE COGNITIVE ERRORS: Guidelines
to Improve Faculty Searches, Evaluations, and Decision-Making (Resources for Medical, Law, & Business Schools and
Colleges & Universities) 2010 Cost: $9 each but $8 each for orders over 25. Order info below.
Part I of the monograph focuses on: 15 typical cognitive errors and shortcuts unwittingly
made by individuals engaged in evaluation and decision-making processes, such as
*seizing a pretext,
*unintended biases and stereotyping,
The first section also discusses six common dysfunctions within academic
organizations that exacerbate the intensity of the cognitive errors. These dysfunctions include:
and rushing an evaluation committee;
to coach and practice the committee before it begins its work;
*no checklists and no checks-and-balances;
*no accountability within the committee process and no accountability for results.
Part II outlines 14 ways to rise above the cognitive errors as well as remedy the organizational dysfunctions.
These steps include:
*careful coaching and practicing of an evaluation committee so that members
can name and then rise above typical cognitive biases and errors;
*using a matrix or other device to help keep evaluators focused on the criteria agreed on;
*insistence on "show me the evidence" rather than accepting opinions
and personal assumptions from committee members;
*a non-voting or voting "process person" within the committee to help the committee chair keep
members on track.
Part III provides five Discussion Scenarios (mini case studies) that
individuals, committees, and entire departments can use for practice, analysis, and honing their skills.
Note from the Author: This booklet draws on insights
and strategies arising from my long-standing consulting practice. The publication also draws on insights
from cognitive scientists, brain-imaging experts, behavioral economists, legal experts, organizational psychologists,
management trainers, and medical leaders (such as Jerome Groopman who in his book How Doctors Think outlines several
"predictable and preventable" cognitive shortcuts that often mar medical diagnoses).