Our conditioning to our biases is so complete we often don’t notice when we are giving them free rein. Few, if any, among us can claim with a straight face to be free of such moments. Howard Ross’ new book Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives is a study of such moments and a primer of sorts on how we can free ourselves of this burdensome inclination. Ross has written three books preceding this latest offering and is a principal in Udarta Consulting as well as a founding partner of Cook Ross, Inc. He has studied the issue of bias for many years from all sides, his extensive experience with the topic makes this a must-read for anyone interested in how bias affects our fellow human beings and our everyday lives.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://howardjross.com/
One of the book’s defining strengths is the lack of any wasted motion. Ross presents lucid ideas and observations with the ring of logic and never takes on a strident tone with readers. He, instead, makes years of research, personal experience, and reading readily comprehensible for any level of reader. This reflects his growing experience as a writer; four books into his career as an author shows exponential progress towards a lean and focused prose style. His sense of structure is likewise first rate and further reflects that aforementioned experience. It is the probable results in considerable planning, I cannot imagine writing a work like this without a clear outline, but such talents shouldn’t be underestimated.
Some will question if any writer can cover the wide breadth of biases present in our world within such a short length, but Ross doesn’t mean for this to be any sort of all-encompassing work. It touches on common examples of how bias shapes our world and discusses each in satisfying detail. The research mentioned earlier in this review is extensive; Ross isn’t relying on you to accept his “word” alone on this subject and supplies ample data backing up his assertions throughout the text.
I am thankful Ross never assumes a Pollyanna view of the issue. He doesn’t preach for the possibility of an immediate sea change in human affairs but concedes instead that any changes to come will be incremental, the result of making a daily practice of self-awareness, and it is a refreshing confession. Ross is a believer, however, in human possibility and there’s never a single passage during this book when he even hints at succumbing to despair. He has written a pointed and digestible book certain to be popular with anyone interested in social sciences or those with a wider interest in our society as a whole. It is, likewise, a book readers can open at any point and dive in; it, moreover, stands up repeated readings. Howard Ross’ Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives boasts impressive writing from the first page to last and arguably ranks as his best book as well as one of 2020’s most rewarding non-fiction efforts.