I've been reading about this concept named heuristics (
a mental shortcut that allows people to
solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently
. These rule-of-thumb strategies
shorten decision-making time and allow people to function without constantly stopping to think
about their next course of action), which can lead to displaying cognitive biases.
This concept was introduced by Herbert Simon in the 1950s. This leads to how I observe that
others stereotype me sometimes.
I am a US Born citizen, of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent. My appearance is unique, as my
father's ethnicity was Cuban-Arabian, and my mother's features are defined as Native Indian and
Spaniard. I don't quite fit the description of what others believe a Puerto Rican or a Cuban would
look like. I don't speak with the linguistic regionalism of most Puerto Ricans.
People will automatically infer that when I say I am "CubanRican" (slang), that I was born in
Cuba, and "in which year did you arrive in the US?" .
As Kendra Cherry, would state in her article,
Heuristics and Cognitive Biases
, (2021), "
are limited by the amount of time they have to make a choice as well as the amount of
information we have at our disposal. Other factors such as overall intelligence and accuracy of
perceptions also influence the decision-making process.
Assumptions and inferences are made quickly by all of us, more often than not.
Our cognitive biases may have more influence than we think, whenever these judgments are
Herbert Simons, research concurred that humans are limited in their ability to make rational
decisions. In the 1970's psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman proposed, through
their research on heuristics, specific thought processes that people rely upon in their decision-
making. We have a tendency to use group affiliation to evaluate individuals quite often.
We rely on these mental sets to get only the solutions that are tried and true. I think that we must
approach our decisions more carefully, with more empathy and sensitivity towards human kind.
We need to improve our ability to identify which stressors may trigger emotions that lead us into
negative biases. We should develop a more systematic approach to our decision-making and have
confidence that we can identify these thought processes before stereotyping anyone.