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A Summary of

Confirmation bias: believing what you see, seeing what you believe

by
Anne-Laure Le Cunff
Ness Labs
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“Confirmation bias” is the human tendency to seek, interpret, favor, and remember information in a way that supports prior predications or personal beliefs. Experimentation by Peter Wason showed: - Humans seek specific rules to support intuition - Humans quickly make unsupported, automatic assumptions when faced with specific rules

Causes of this are:

  • Wishful thinking: people find it easier to make decisions off what they wish is true
  • Limited human capacity: lazy brain takes shortcuts to arrive at conclusions that don’t require more objective thought

Where bias exists?

  • When searching for information: testing predictions without objectivity
  • Memory: remembering selective memories to support beliefs
  • Interpretation: analyzing coincidences in a way that strictly supports personal intuition

Examples of bias include:

  • Biased eyewitness accounts
  • Promoting news that supports own values
  • Political party polarization: strictly supporting beliefs of subscribed group 

Some effects of confirmation bias are:

  • Prejudice, discrimination
  • Limited mindset In order to have an open mind, it is important to be aware of confirmation bias pitfalls
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