More information and education often don’t solve problems alone. Yet, people often think they do. It’s common. It shows up whenever one concludes a talk with another by asking, “Do you understand?”
If the answer is “yes,” one then assumes the person will do or think whatever was explained. That’s an education bias: the belief that one can change people’s behaviors and thinking through more education.
More Information And Education Often Go Together
Another sign of this bias shows up when people think more information will do the trick. However, as Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman wrote in their article, “To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple” :
The marketer’s goal is to help customers feel confident about their choice. Just providing more information doesn’t help.
That means tapping into the emotional side. Tapping the thinking side alone won’t do it. Yes, it might seem obvious. People forget though. For instance, citing “knowledge is power” often goes along with more information.
How Too Much Information And Education Affect Thinking
Is some ways, more information and education can make things worse. Too much of both can affect thinking. Moreover, as the articles “Too Much Information” and “You Choose – The Tyranny of Choice” show, they can shut it down. They render people powerless to make decisions.
It’s why Tony Hey in his article, “The Big Idea: The Next Scientific Revolution“ declares that the processing of information is the next scientific revolution. Too much information exists. It’s too hard to sort through it all. It overwhelms people.
Overcoming The Bias For More Information and Education
Overcoming the bias to dump more information and push more education on people means remembering to tap their emotions. It’s not just about whether they understand. It’s about how they feel about their decisions or changes.
Change is a very relational process. Often if people just like or trust the promoter of change, no rationale is needed. Conversely, no amount of information and education can overcome a soured relationship. The secret to change is relationships. That taps the emotional side of people.
- Problems With Asking “Do You Understand?”
- Why More Information And Education Don’t Solve Problems
- Education Bias (Pt 3): Leadership Over Knowledge
- Education Bias (Pt 5): Understanding vs. Appreciation