We are constantly striving (and struggling) to eliminate or minimize different types of bias related to the jobs we do. Forensic scientists don’t work in a vacuum; we need information to form hypotheses and create a workable model to apply the scientific method to our theories and casework. But what if we are influenced by unknown forces, cognitive bias that we aren’t even aware of?
Even as “disinterested third parties” in the lab and on the stand, we are rarely aware of the unintentional, subliminal messages the environment is sending our way. Is a suspect’s name spelled a certain way? Has that involuntarily influenced us to think one thing or another? We’d like to think we are not swayed by such trivial things, but how can we attempt to improve our chances of being truly unbiased?
Some studies say with mindfulness practices. Much research is being generated about the origins of social biases, and how simple mindfulness techniques can change the way we react to perceived negative stimulus or stress. Here’s an article that teaches you three ways mindfulness can make you less biased.