If You Have Confirmation Bias, This Article Will Validate Your Belief

People tend to look for information that confirms our views while ignoring information that contradicts it.
We tend to look for information that confirms our views while ignoring information that contradicts it.

By Krista Pouncy-Dyson
Founder of DiversityEmployed.com
Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 9:00 pm

One process of the human brain is that it seeks out data that confirms our beliefs and more easily overlooks information that contradicts our beliefs.

As a result, individuals become complacent in prejudiced thinking, fail to seek further information, and squander opportunities for holistic growth.

Below are some examples of the types of thoughts that can signal confirmation bias:

  • “She got into a car accident, which makes sense because women are bad drivers.”
  • ”Men are innately better at science, so I completely understand why you want to enter the field of biomedical engineering.”

Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., an associate professor emeritus of health economics of addiction at the University of Illinois at Springfield, defines the thinking like this:

Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea or concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views or prejudices one would like to be true.”

Inside and outside the workforce, confirmation bias prevents us from all of the benefits embedded in diversity and prevents us from fully understanding all that is embedded within it.

Ready to avoid confirmation bias? Try these tips:

  1. Be Aware: Be honest with yourself about your beliefs.
  2. Ask Questions, Question Others: Ask when was the last time your or your organization revisited its beliefs.
  3. Get Educated: Seek out the best information that challenges your beliefs.
  4. Take Action! Challenge yourself and others to share your best information even when it contrasts with commonly held attitudes and beliefs.

Krista Pouncy-Dyson is the founder of DiversityEmployed.com and managing principal for Performance First Digital, a marketing agency in New Orleans. You can connect with the author on LinkedIn.

Learn More About Confirmation Bias

Learn About Filter Bubbles With OpenLearn