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Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias what is it?

Well, the Confirmation Bias put very simply, is when we have any kind of slight bias or inkling inside of what we want something to be, which then affects the way we proceed forward.

For example, if I'm concerned/worried about death and my own mortality then I may want to find answers to the questions that I have. But equally I may already have decided what I really want to hear and this is Confirmation Bias. I may want to believe in the afterlife as it makes me feel more comfortable with death. Happier to believe that I will live on forever in Heaven. I then begin to look for things to support what I already want to believe, so my search is already Bias towards finding supportive information.

Another example may be what I choose to eat. If I see a programme with ill treated farm animals being slaughtered for meat, which then makes me emotionally disturbed. I may then feel uncomfortable with the idea of eating meat. I may then start searching on the Internet for supporting evidence that Humans were originally Vegetarian. It may be the ill treatment that began the feelings associated with meat but I then don't search for information on where to purchase or guarantee meat sources that are farmed ethically and treated well. This is due to the Confirmation Bias affecting the way I search for information.

Not many of us would want a Lawer defending us on a Murder Charge we weren't guilty of if we knew our Lawer had already decided he/she thought we were guilty of the crime due to Confirmation Bias. And it's these times that a Confirmation Bias can have a negative impact (quite seriously) if left unchecked.

​How many times have you met a person and already decided whether you will or won't like them within the first 45 secs of meeting them? Did they remind you of someone you already don't like, do they look like someone else you don't like, smile like them, speak like them, dress like them and the list goes on.

It's not easy to fight this ntemtation to have a Confirmation Bias and at times it can be of a beneficial. I may take up new Active Healthy Lifestyle or a great new Hobbie.

Sometimes it takes some distance from decisions to work out whether you are making the right decision and if the Confirmation Bias is affecting your thinking. This time and distance can always let emotions that were running high begin to settle down. With less emotion, your outlook may have a more open and logical viewpoint to the way you think.


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