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Confirmation bias is an impulse that happens when people process new information. It usually means that a person will interpret the information he or she just learned about by fitting it into their own existing personal beliefs. Confirmation bias most commonly appears when the information is critical to the person finding out about it.
Confirmation Bias Is Just Illogical/Human
So, you ask yourself, is confirmation bias wrong? Well, yes, it is, because it ignores other possible answers to the problem, and it most possibly excludes a better solution or an answer that is closer to the truth. This is, in essence, an illogical approach to have when processing information. However, do not be too critical of yourself if you feel that you ever explained something to yourself so it would fit you perfectly - it is only human.
The reason why people choose to embrace the comforts of confirmation bias is mostly found in the number of information people can hear or see every day. There is too much of everything: social media, television, and everyday interaction can often turn into a mess when you start embracing everyone’s opinions and thoughts. There is simply not enough time and not enough brain capacity in human beings to process every single information to its full extent.
Confirmation Bias As A Human Instinct
Confirmation bias can be viewed as an instinct because we lack the ability to tackle each information with equal care. Today’s world is probably ‘’faster’’ than it has ever been before. Faster in a way that we can both express and hear a lot of opinions on any kind of social or cultural issue, we can access them more quickly, and we can disregard them swiftly as well.
Confirmation bias comes in handy in today’s day and age, because we can shake off whatever does not fit our beliefs. Without the necessary back knowledge about the topic, we can use confirmation bias to get rid of the information from occupying our thoughts quickly. We do so by categorizing it by whether it is right or wrong for us, and well, we tend to be biased when it comes to our own selves.
More Emotional Investment, Stronger The Bias?
The way we handle information is influenced by how close or far we are to the issue. It has been proven that people usually make better decisions when they do not have too many emotional strings attached to the subject at hand. That is why, for example, surgeons are never allowed to perform surgery on the members of their family. The emotional investment is too hard to handle, and it can and will, in many ways, bring problems to a rational type of judgment.
Another example of confirmation bias happens during any kind of (political) elections - people are looking are a way to confirm a belief they have about a particular candidate, which will eventually help them to vote. If they like a candidate, people will simply try to find as much positive information about him or her. They will most probably ignore everything bad that comes up.
About the Author
Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.
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