How do our experiences influence our cognitive biases?
Although conventional perspectives of cognition would acknowledge that our experiences inform our biases, an emergent systems perspective of cognition suggests that our experiences actually give rise to them. From this perspective, our relational associations represent higher order patterns of our physical perceptions. So our biases are an emergent byproduct of our experiences, which means that experiences of having seen, heard, or otherwise engaged in certain patterns of interactions (through the media we consume, the conversations we have, the activities we engage in, etc.) become the formative elements of bias.
Our thoughts (especially as internalized conversations) can have influence as well. However they’re are not the formative basis of bias. It also seems that, in the absence of disruptive intention and attention, our thoughts may only perpetuate bias-reinforcing feedback loops.
While our biases probably correlate to cognitive functions we can’t necessarily get rid of, it might be possible to cultivate them more intentionally. To the extent that our perceptions effect our associations, the range of our experiences could affect the content of our biases. A high degree of uniformity in our experiences may allow us to make unconscious but accurate judgments based on simple, surface-level associations; yet having more diverse experiences may force us to identify more complex, deeper-level associations. It could be that the interactions we regularly have in familiar patterns (even in different contexts) lead us to develop certain kinds of biases, whereas having interactions in unfamiliar patterns leads us to develop other and potentially more insightful kinds of biases.