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Decide and Conquer: The Ultimate Guide for Improving Your Decision Making, Second Edition by Stephen P. Robbins

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17. I’ll See It When I Believe It: The Selective Perception Bias

It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It’s that they can’t see the problem.

—G. K. Chesterton

The following represents a classic study in perception: Twenty-three middle-level managers were asked to read a comprehensive case describing the operational activities in a steel company.1 Six of the 23 executives worked in the area of sales, five in production, four in accounting, and eight in miscellaneous functions. After reading the case, each of these executives was then asked to identify the problem a new company president should deal with first. Eighty-three percent of the sales executives rated sales most important, but only 29 percent of the others did. Similarly, the production ...

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