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Cognitive Biases in Engineering Organizations

Jonathan Klein (Attend)
Culture & Organizational Change
Location: 118/119 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.87, 30 ratings)

Biases like the Fundamental Attribution Error, Confirmation Bias, and Hyperbolic Discounting show up in every day life, but are typically only discussed in academic circles. These biases have a wide reaching impact on organizations of all sizes, and can subtly influence decisions in a negative way if they aren’t called out explicitly and addressed.

This talk will explain a few common biases that we’ve all seen in the workplace, discuss the reasons why they appear and the actions that result from them, and finally provide some concrete ways to avoid falling into these cognitive traps. The takeaways from this talk will be widely applicable to many roles at a variety of companies, as well as to your life in general.

Photo of Jonathan Klein

Jonathan Klein


Jonathan is a software engineer at Etsy, where he focuses on solving web performance and scalability challenges. He started the Boston Web Performance Meetup Group, and contributes to a few open source projects, including WebPagetest, the HTTPArchive and CSSLint. Jonathan blogs regularly at and can be found on Twitter at @jonathanklein.