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Cognitive Biases

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Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams


Cognitive Biases

This teaching topic deals with cognitive biases that impede understanding of others’ interests and motivations and interfere with rational decision making.  

Recommended Reading (Harvard MLD-101B)

Complete “Gender-Career” Implicit Association Test. Go to the following website and click on “I wish to proceed” at the bottom of the screen to take the Implicit Association Test.

Among the menu of test options, complete the Gender-Career IAT. You are free to complete other tests as well, but the Gender-Career IAT will give us a shared basis for discussion.

(As an alternative to the test, one can read the following article: Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. K. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(6), 1464-1480.

Robinson, R. J. 1997. Errors in Social Judgment: Implications for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; Part 2: Partisan Perceptions (HBS Case 897-104)

See, K. E. (2009). Reactions to Decisions With Uncertain Consequences: Reliance on Perceived Fairness Versus Predicted Outcomes Depends on Knowledge. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 96(1), 104-118.

Rudman, L. A., & Kilianski, S. E. (2000). Implicit and explicit attitudes toward female authority. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(11), 1315-1328.

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1981). The framing of a decision and the psychology of choice. Science, 211, 453-463.

Dunning, D., Griffin, D. W., Milojkovic, J. D., & Ross, L. (1990). The overconfidence effect in social prediction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(4), 568-581.

Babcock, L., & Loewenstein, G. (1997). Explaining bargaining impasse: The role of self-serving biases. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(1), 109-126.

Bazerman, M. H., & Moore, D. A. (2009). Judgment in managerial decision making. (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Ross, L., & Ward, A. (1995). Psychological barriers to dispute resolution. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 27, 255-303.

Source: MLD-101B Syllabus from (accessed 23 January 2013)

Page Created by: Matthew Seddon, last edited by Ben Eisen, 5 August, 2013.

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School of Public Policy and Governance