Using Bias to Maximize Output

We live in a world of bias – that’s not necessarily a bad thing ;).
Here’s how you can use bias to maximize your output:

Let’s talk about the serial-position effect.
This is the ability of people to remember first and last items in a series the best.

How can that help you sell a product or yourself during an interview?

An interviewer is overly affected by information presented early and late during an interview.

Not that the middle doesn’t matter, but strong, positive points should be emphasized in the beginning and end.

A late candidate who hosts a stellar interview still suffers from the “primacy effect”.

An on-time candidate who performs well during the interview, but ends with a negative remark will experience the “recency effect”.

In short, simple interviews:
Primacy > recency.

In short, complex interviews, and multi-staged interviews:
Recency > primacy.


List the most impactful points first and last in a sequence, and in your presentation. What do you want your audience to remember most?

User interface design?

When there’s a lot of information – think about how to best manage the serial position of your design. Include relevant info at fingertips and cues (recency), and emphasize key information at the beginning and end.

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