Exploring evidence-based policing
Exploring evidence-based policing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Exploring evidence-based policing

5.2 Sources of bias

Various forms of cognitive bias can impact the way in which people seek and interpret evidence. If biases are not managed carefully, they may ultimately impact on both the decision-making process itself and the quality of decisions made, as well as on the powers utilised in the framing and implementation of policy.

There are six commonly held sources of cognitive bias which hamper evidence-based decision making:

  • Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for and interpret information consistent with our existing beliefs.
  • Availability heuristic – the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of an event happening based on our most recent memory of it or something similar happening. If we can remember something easily, its importance is heightened.
  • Hindsight bias – the tendency to see past events as being more predictable than they were before the event occurred.
  • Anchoring effect – the tendency to over-emphasise or over-rely on a single piece of evidence.
  • Framing effect – the tendency to draw different conclusions from the same information presented in different ways (e.g. if a food is ‘85% fat free’ or contains ‘15% fat’).
  • Meta-cognitive bias – this is the tendency to believe that although others may suffer from bias, we are immune from it.
PWC_6

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371