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9.6.1. Translating: Intent Bias


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 9. Managing in a Complex World > 9.6. Translating Intent Into Action > 9.6.1. Translating: Intent Bias

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When we decide to do something, it is often held in the form of an intent to cause some external effect, such as performing an experiment or showing someone else how an idea works. That intent may be held in a number of forms, from an internal visual movie of exactly what is to happen, to a general desire to change someone else’s point of view.

The problem with conscious decisions is that the subconscious is constantly looking on and can subtly interfere with the subsequent action, sabotaging what you really wanted to say or do in order to achieve deeper needs.

For example, if you were hammering out a car body, inner doubts about your own ability could lead you to miss-hit and cause damage. Also when talking to other people, your mental model about them will affect a lot of what you say. For example, a male engineer might have an internal model of women as being unable to understand technical things, and as a result unintentionally act in a patronising way. This would not be very helpful if the woman was a bank manager who could invest in his latest idea.

Particularly if we are unaware of them, our internal biases can wreak havoc on idea creation, experimentation and all parts of communication with, and persuasion of, other people. As well as controlling the world, inventors need to be able to control themselves.

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