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How aware are we of our biases in testing?



Alexandru Cusmaru , Eduard Paul Enoiu

Publication Type:

Keynote Lecture


30th EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference


Unconscious biases are hard-wired behaviors that influence testers and can set them on an incorrect course of action. If we understand how these biases affect testers' everyday behavior, we can attempt to mitigate them, then develop more effective tools and strategies to help testers avoid the pitfalls of cognitive biases. But to what extent are testers aware that cognitive biases influence their work? This was the primary question we sought to answer in our research. We developed a questionnaire survey, designed to reveal the extent of software testers’ knowledge about cognitive biases, plus their awareness of the influence biases have on testing. We reached out to software professionals working in different environments and gathered valid data from approximately 60 practitioners. Our results suggest that professionals are indeed aware of biases. Specifically, they are aware of preconceptions such as confirmation bias, fixation, and convenience. In addition, optimism, ownership, and blissful ignorance were other common biases. In common with other research, we observed that people tend to identify more cognitive biases in others than in their own judgments and actions, indicating a vulnerability to bias blind spot.


author = {Alexandru Cusmaru and Eduard Paul Enoiu},
title = {How aware are we of our biases in testing?},
month = {June},
year = {2022},
url = {}