Recognising our Biases

March 21, 2021

Self-awareness is a requirement in order to see differently. In a series of five short reflections entitled “Learning How to See”, Richard Rohr identifies 13 different types of bias which we can possess without knowing it.

He begins with ‘confirmation bias’, in which “we judge new ideas based on the ease with which they fit in with and confirm the only standard we have: old ideas, old information, and trusted authorities.” As a result, we tend to exclude anything that “doesn’t fit”.

Another bias is ‘complexity bias’ in which “our brains prefer a simple falsehood to a complex truth”.  

Yet another is ‘contact bias’, wherein “a lack of personal and ongoing contact with people who are different from us causes us to fail to see them for who they truly are”.  

The reflections conclude with an exercise developed by Anthony de Mello to expand our self-awareness and to support our ability to see in a new way. Access these challenging reflections at