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Asymmetry Bias

Recently, I have had many opportunities to think about the symmetry and asymmetry of things. For symmetry, it refers to two aspects being balanced or similar. Asymmetry (asymmetry) is the opposite, meaning that they are not in balance. I did a little research on the internet and this may not be an academic topic yet.

The impetus came from my feeling that in many educational settings, “the student side has a set date and time for submitting homework and exams, but the grading side does not have a set deadline for grading. “This rule is asymmetrical and unbalanced. If we look at the workplace, there are many examples such as “we are expected to keep our promises and deadlines, but the other party is not able to keep their promises and deadlines,” or “we are expected to respond promptly, but the other party is slow or absent in responding,” to name just a few. Asymmetry bias, as I see it, is the unconscious psychological effect that “when things that are asymmetrical or unbalanced occur, it is the party being annoyed that notices the asymmetry and feels doubt, discomfort, etc., while the party doing the annoyance is unaware that asymmetrical things are occurring. Without being aware of it, there is a risk of continually causing imbalances.

To use my own example, when I am frustrated that “XX-san doesn’t tell me the status of an important matter  and I have to check the status every time…”, I try to think, “I have to do a proper status update with my stakeholders that XX-san and others are waiting for!” Moreover, when I feel dissatisfied in my marital relationship by thinking like “I am doing xxx, but my wife is not doing xxx…,” I consciously put myself into a mode like, “My wife is doing xxx, but isn’t there anything I am doing that is making her uncomfortable by not doing xxx?”

I would be very happy if this article sheds light on the existence of your own asymmetrical bias and helps you to be aware of it and deal with it;)

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO
P.S. My son may also feel asymmetric bias, just not verbalized….