Overcoming Cognitive Biases and Finding Your Audience through Authentic Writing

Tara H

Tara H

Sep 23, 20234 min read

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Overcoming Cognitive Biases and Finding Your Audience through Authentic Writing

Introduction:

In today's digital age, where information is abundant, it's crucial to be aware of our cognitive biases and how they can influence our thinking and decision-making. From the anchoring bias to the Dunning-Kruger effect, these biases can have a significant impact on our perception of reality. Additionally, as writers, finding our audience and creating content that resonates with them is equally important. In this article, we will explore three common cognitive biases we all have and how to fight them, while also discussing how to find your people through authentic writing.

  • 1. Anchoring Bias: Categorizing Information Based on Initial Facts

The anchoring bias refers to our tendency to categorize information on a subject based on the initial fact we learn about it. This bias can limit our ability to consider alternative perspectives or objectively evaluate new information. To combat this bias, it's crucial to engage in critical thinking and actively seek out diverse viewpoints. By exposing ourselves to different perspectives, we can challenge our preconceived notions and make more informed decisions.

  • 2. Dunning-Kruger Effect: Recognizing Our Own Incompetence

The Dunning-Kruger effect highlights the phenomenon where individuals are unable to recognize their own incompetence. It's essential to acknowledge that we all have blind spots and areas where we may lack expertise. To counter this bias, cultivating a growth mindset is crucial. Embrace a willingness to learn and improve, seek feedback from others, and continuously expand your knowledge and skills. Recognizing our limitations allows us to become more self-aware and make better-informed decisions.

  • 3. Authentic Writing: Connecting with Your Audience

Finding your audience as a writer can be a challenging task. However, by focusing on authenticity and writing about topics that genuinely resonate with you, you can attract like-minded individuals. Austin Kleon, in his blog post, suggests asking yourself, "What would have made me jump off my chair if I had read it six months ago?" This question helps you identify the topics that genuinely excite and engage you. Remember, you don't need to dumb down your writing; instead, offer as much useful detail and beauty as you can muster. By sharing your passion and knowledge authentically, you'll attract readers who share your interests.

Connecting the Common Points:

While cognitive biases and finding your audience may seem unrelated, there is a common thread between them. Both require self-awareness and a willingness to challenge our assumptions. Overcoming cognitive biases allows us to think more objectively and consider different perspectives, which is essential when trying to connect with diverse readers. By embracing authenticity in our writing, we attract like-minded individuals who resonate with our ideas and experiences.

Unique Idea/Insight:

One unique insight is that by acknowledging our cognitive biases, we can use them to our advantage in understanding our audience better. For example, understanding the anchoring bias can help us recognize the initial impressions that may influence our readers. By being mindful of this bias, we can ensure our content provides a well-rounded perspective and doesn't solely rely on initial facts.

Three Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Continuously Challenge Your Assumptions: Actively seek out diverse viewpoints and question your initial impressions. This practice cultivates open-mindedness and prevents the anchoring bias from limiting your perspective.
  • 2. Embrace a Growth Mindset: Recognize that there is always room for improvement and be open to feedback. Embracing a growth mindset allows you to overcome the Dunning-Kruger effect and continuously learn and grow as a writer.
  • 3. Write Authentically: Focus on topics that genuinely excite and engage you. By staying true to your interests and passions, you'll attract an audience that resonates with your writing. Don't be afraid to share your unique insights and offer useful details, as this will captivate your readers.

Conclusion:

Overcoming cognitive biases and finding your audience through authentic writing are interconnected concepts that require self-awareness, open-mindedness, and a growth mindset. By understanding and challenging our biases, we can make more informed decisions and provide well-rounded content. Additionally, by writing authentically and sharing our passions, we attract readers who resonate with our ideas and experiences. So, embrace self-reflection, think critically, and let your authentic voice shine through your writing to connect with your audience.

Resource:

  1. "Three Cognitive Biases We All Have (and How to Fight Them)", https://lifehacker.com/three-cognitive-biases-we-all-have-and-how-to-fight-th-1849570852?ref=refind (Glasp)
  2. "A blog post is a search query to find your people - Austin Kleon", https://austinkleon.com/2023/02/19/a-blog-post-is-a-search-query-to-find-your-people/?ref=refind (Glasp)

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