Confirmation Bias

What is confirmation bias?

Confirmation bias is “the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions”*

In other words, confirmation bias is the distorting of facts to fit one’s already existing beliefs.


~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

What does confirmation bias look like?

In the following article, we read about how people can distort facts to fit their beliefs;

“In ‘Research in Psychology: Methods and Design’, C. James Goodwin gives a great example of confirmation bias as it applies to extrasensory perception:

“Persons believing in extrasensory perception (ESP) will keep close track of instances when they were ‘thinking about Mom, and then the phone rang and it was her!’ Yet they ignore the far more numerous times when (a) they were thinking about Mom and she didn’t call and (b) they weren’t thinking about Mom and she did call. They also fail to recognize that if they talk to Mom about every two weeks, their frequency of ‘thinking about Mom’ will increase near the end of the two-week-interval, thereby increasing the frequency of a ‘hit.”*


~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

How do we avoid confirmation bias?

Due to confirmation bias being a result of knowingly or unknowingly distorting facts to fit somewhere they don’t belong, it would be useful to practice identifying and eliminating distorting thought patterns in the objective of deterring this bias. So far, the Trivium Method is the best system of unbiased researching that I’ve discovered. The Rational Scientific Method is in close second. The two of them together seem to me to be a powerful force in the objective of eradicating bias and fallacy. 

“Avoiding confirmation bias starts with paying attention to how you interact with information.” *


~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

As well as discussing the above questions, here are some more;

Have you ever witnessed confirmation bias in someone else?

Have you ever witnessed confirmation bias within yourself?

How would you go about dealing with this bias?

Does this bias resemble any other biases or fallacies that you know of?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: