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Positive Presentation Bias

Positive Presentation Bias

You must have heard that beautiful people get hired easier; but does that mean handsome projects are more often awarded? Learn about the Positive Presentation Bias and how to avoid it.

In judgment and decision making, a cognitive bias is the human tendency to make a systematic decision focused more on on cognitive factors rather than the reality. In the case of Positive Presentation Bias, designs and projects that are better represented, in a design competition, are considered better.
The Positive Presentation Bias was discovered due to the statistical inconsistency in the jury scores of design submissions in the A’ Design Award & Competition: Normally, entries in A’ Design Award & Competition are voted against multiple evaluation criterion, one of the such criteria is the “Presentation Quality” with a relatively low weight on it. However, when a sample of 500 design submissions were analyzed in detail and re-voted analytically, it was discovered that jury members tend to give higher scores to designs whose visual representations were made better, regardless of the intrinsic properties of the design.
A’ Design Award & Competition featured 3 types of jury members; Academics, Professionals and Focus Group Members. The highest presentation bias occurred for the Focus Group Members in general. Academics & Professionals have the lowest presentation bias, when it came to voting entries in their own expertise areas; however they tended to display also a significant amount of bias when they were voting entries in other categories.
The Positive Presentation Bias could be related to other existing cognitive biases such as the “Framing Effect” i.e. drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how that information is presented, or the “Focusing effect” i.e. the tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event, in any case the presentation bias effects the competition outcomes in a negative manner, and thus it is required to be reduced or removed. There are several ways to reduce this bias.
Positive Presentation Bias
For example, to remove the Positive Presentation Bias, A’ Design Award & Competition implemented several tools and approaches: 1. Uniform Submission System, 2. Uniform Jury Presentation System, 3. Preliminary Score and Feedbacks for Presentation, 4. Detailed Presentation Guidelines Book with Hints and Suggestions, 5. Submission Optimizer Software. 6. Showcasing Prior Winner Works, 7. Voting Guidelines for Jury Members. The purpose of all the tools is to push the presentation quality of entries to a uniform, high level such that when jury members would vote on the submissions, the presentation of the entries would be less relevant because they would all be good, and therefore submissions could be judged more on their intrinsic qualities; thus the Positive Presentation Bias could be removed or reduced.
To avoid being effected by the Positive Presentation Bias, designers are suggest to make the best presentation they could for their projects, in this case, they could perhaps also utilize the bias to their advantage, or alternatively competitions and awards can implement systems and tools to reduce the bias as seen in A’ Design Award & Competition. Designers could also get help from professional photographers or graphic designers to have their works presented better; most designers are in a biased position when it comes to presentation; they tend to overestimate their skills. For example being a perfect furniture designer does not automatically entitle an individual to be a perfect visual communication designer. Being a perfect architect or interior designer does not guarantee perfect photography that is required for a good communication.

This article was added on Monday, 27th of January, 2014 at 05.26 am by author Onur Cobanli Tags: visual presentation bias, communication bias, cognitive biases. Read our copyright policy here.




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