Confirmation Bias

“People are prone to believe what they want to believe.*”

How much of what we think we believe is true? How much do we believe it because we want to or because it fits our previous decision on a topic, a medical issue, a political candidate, our hobbies—ANYTHING.

I like to think I’m challenging myself to grow in new ways by reading different genres of novels, a variety of non-fiction books on a broad spectrum of viewpoints. But am I really? What about podcasts?

How can we be sure we’re not seeking agreement with where we are now? What are the signs? Are we doing the same things again and again, but thinking we are doing something different? I pride myself on my creativity. My fearlessness. But I now must challenge myself to understand if I’m really just confirming what I already think or know. So, I’m going to try the following. I’ll let you know what I find out.

  1. Make a list of the last six novels I read.
  2. List the last five non-fiction books I read (not purchased, read).
  3. What were the last four classes I took?
  4. Name the last three times I ate a food I’ve never eaten before.
  5. Summarize the last two conversations that I shared with someone twenty or more years younger than myself and twenty or more years older than me.
  6. When did I try a different browser than the one I normally use?

Confirmation bias keeps people in a rut. Scary but true. Stepping out of our rut is REALLY scary!

Change scares everyone to an extent. Knowing when you’re suffering from confirmation bias might be the first step to changing your mind, even a little. We’re not suggesting which way to think, but we would like to know if you are brave enough to confirm that you have confirmation bias. Or not.

Source: * Psychology Today

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