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Understanding human rationalisation and cognitive bias: A paradigm shift from the conscious competency matrix to contextualised reflective competence (CRC)

Date:  Friday 27 August 
Time:  0930-1230

  • Andrew Lane
  • Chris Roberts

Summary of Theme and Why it is Important? Rationalisation is a human defense-mechanism, in which controversial behaviours or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner, to avoid the true explanation. Rationalisation often occurs when a person is experiencing cognitive dissonance, which is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced when they simultaneously hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. A cognitive bias is a systematic pattern of deviation from normal or rational judgment, due to individuals creating their own ‘subjective social reality’ from their perception of their environment. 

Reflective practice is an essential skill required to maintain this development throughout a clinician’s career, and is  a concept that is extensively discussed as one of the components of life-long learning, as well as being a recommendation and requirement of professional organisations of healthcare governance learning. The conscious competency matrix has been developed from the world of psychology coaching, with general unquestioned acceptance within healthcare education, being one of the most commonly quoted learning staircases, especially within simulated environments learning. 

We deliver a new paradigm of the matrix, based on a program of research, and allowing practitioners to development greater reflective practice within themselves and amongst others by adopting Contextualised Reflective Competence


The workshop has three parts

1. Understanding rationalisation and cognitive bias
2. Exploring the current theory of the conscious competency matrix, and moving to a new paradigm of CRC
3. Incorporating CRC into your own personal development and facilitating it in others.

What participants will gain: In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the concepts of rationalisation due to cognitive dissonance and explore the common cognitive biases around human interpretation and subsequent decision-making, and how this aligns with the current model of the conscious competency matrix. They will then develop a new and deeper understanding and incorporate it within themselves, theoretically and practically.

Who Should Participate: Healthcare educators, curriculum development staff, and administrators, wanting to increase their understanding of rationalisation and cognitive bias, to enable them to develop a greater awareness of how to consider it personally and appraise it widely

Level of workshop:  Intermediate

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