Do You Suffer From Confirmation Bias?

The world has become very polarized. You’re either for something or against something. There is no grey area:

Vaccines: you’re either for the jab or you’re aganst it.

War between Russia and Ukraine: You’re either for Russia, or for Ukraine.

In both instances, many people have taken sides and refuse to see the other’s perspective.

What Is Confirmation Bias?

Are you a victim of confirmation bias? It is defined as:

the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values. People display this bias when they select information that supports their views, ignoring contrary information, or when they interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing attitudes.

We all must be very careful about confirmation bias. Many of us tend to gravitate towards things (and people) we like and understand. If we don’t like something, we tend to dismiss it.

Ask yourself:

  • Have you unfriended someone due to their opposing views?
  • Do you avoid topics or subjects because you don’t like or understand them?
  • If you don’t like something, do you automatically dismiss it?

What’s Your Confirmation Bias?

There are many forms of confirmation bias:

Employment

There are those who feel having a job with benefits is the best option. Being self employed is too risky, and there are many examples of businesses failing. As a result, they are vehemently opposed to entrepreneurship.

Who's right? Who's wrong?
Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

Money Matters

There’s a fierce debate among some who prefer bitcoin and others who prefer gold. It’s either one or the other. Some believe gold is a thing of the past, while others see bitcoin as the worst thing ever. Why can’t both be useful simultaneously?

Race

If a person believes negative stereotypes about a specific race or gender, there are plenty sources online to reinforce those thoughts. As a result, a person can be pigeonholed into these beliefs and never see the positive in others.

Diet

There’s a fierce debate among those who eat meant and those who don’t. There are countless articles about the dangers of eating meat. On the flipside, there are also studies touting the benefits of its consumption. Which side are you on? Is one side is right, or are both correct?

Get more great health tips in my Best Seller The Diet of Success: Healthy Eating Tips For Hard Working Professionals.

Algorithms and Confirmation Bias

A person can easily fall victim to confirmation bias because of the internet and algorithms. Algorithms track a person’s preferences feed them articles, advertisements, and other information that coincides with their preferences.

At the same time, the news and information they do not like is removed. Eventually, the vast majority of the information they receive reinforces their beliefs, potentially giving them the impression that their opinion is the right opinion, and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong.

Overcoming Your Bias

One of the best things we can do is become more open-minded. There’s so much in this world we simply don’t know. By simply listening to other perspectives, we may discover something that can benefit us. Here are a few ways to overcome confirmation bias:

  1. Don’t jump to conclusions. Take the time to hear all sides of the story. Try see things from a different perspective without judgement or bias.
  2. Check you ego at the door. None of us know everything. It’s critical we remain willing to learn new things.
  3. Acknowledge your biases. Do you know what you are biased toward? Do you find yourself seeking confirmation for certain beliefs? Identify these feelings and make an effort to overcome them.
  4. Change your circle. The people you associate with can play a tremendous role in how you think and your bias. Make an effort to meet new people with different views.

Call To Action

When you look at something, what do you see?

Is it possible others can see the exact same situation differently from you? Absolutely.

The key is to make an effort to view things from another person’s perspective. By doing so, you might discover something you were unaware of that benefits you. Don’t let confirmation bias prevent you from being the best you can be. Want to reach your full potential? Make an effort to stop these negative thoughts in their tracks.

Confirmation bias can affect us in all aspects of our lives. It can limit our growth physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially. Pick up a copy of my book The Three Pillars of Strength: Increasing Your Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness. Your future self might thank you.

A strong mind is essential for success. Register for our online course Success Principles 101: A Peak Performance Guide to Increase Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Financial Fitness. Available on Udemy.

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