Confirmation Bias: Don’t Own It


(12/11/15) Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.

We are all guilty of this, every single one of us, some more than others.  The first step in reducing your confirmation bias is to actually recognize what it is and once you have, challenge your bias by learning about alternatives to your held beliefs.  It is difficult and it requires actual effort.  If you turn on Fox News or MSNBC each day you will be fed their bias and soon it will become your bias.  When you read a news story from an obviously biased source search for this story from an opposing source and compare them, then formulate your opinion.  If you cannot find an opposing source, chances are the story is overtly biased and not to be trusted.  Try to use evidence as your guide and when something is entirely opinion based use reason over dogma.  This is not easy folks and it is understandable when we fail, especially on emotional issues.  In a nutshell, if something does not have solid evidence or it defies reason do not own it.  Question it!

Written by Dave Van Zandt

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