Summary of Watch Out for the HiPPO

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Looking to experts or authority figures to make a final business decision may seem natural. But the practice of favoring the HiPPO – the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion – can prove detrimental when it occurs too frequently. Occupational psychology expert James Armitage explains why HiPPO bias occurs, why it’s problematic and why leaders often fail to correct this tendency. Armitage also offers solutions for the HiPPO bias which are applicable whether you’re the boss – or working under one. getAbstract recommends this article to everyone interested in how to improve business decision-making practices. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why people defer to the opinions of authority figures,
  • Why leaders are biased in favor of their own expertise and
  • How to solve the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) bias problem.

About the Author

James Armitage is a member of the occupational psychology division of the British Psychological Society. 



The best ideas don’t always come from the person in the room with the biggest paycheck. When it comes to decision making, the HiPPO – the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion – often wins. This is especially true when a lack of data leaves the best path forward open to interpretation.

Employees’ deferral to the HiPPO is understandable. Most people exhibit an “authority bias”: the belief that experts (or senior staff members) know best. Too, employees may think twice about disagreeing with someone who could negatively impact their careers. 

Leaders can exacerbate...

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