Confirmation Bias Essay

348 WordsSep 4, 20142 Pages
Confirmation Bias Laurie Henry Psychology 285 August 21, 2014 April Kindall Confirmation Bias A confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias where people tend to seek out information that agrees with their own beliefs. At times we all like to imagine that our beliefs are rational, logical, and objective, when in fact our ideas are often based on paying attention to the information that upholds our ideas and ignoring the information that challenges our existing beliefs. The phenomenon of confirmation bias starts with overconfidence. Overconfidence can originate in a lack of knowledge regarding a topic or task. For example, people who support or oppose a particular issue will not only seek information that supports their beliefs, they will also interpret news stories in a way that upholds their existing ideas and remember things in a way that also reinforces these attitudes (Cherry, K. nd). The issue with confirmation bias is it causes people to favor evidence that supports their view regardless of the validity. This prevents the possibility of looking at a situation objectively which may have a negative influence on making decisions and poor choices. For example when it comes to politics someone may support a certain candidate therefore they only pay attention to the positive aspects of their choice. It is likely that this same individual will only look at the negative aspects of their opponent. Instead of considering all the evidence on both candidates they will support the candidate they believe in. In the long run it may turn out to be a bad choice because they may find out information later on that they may have changed their decision on who to vote for. This is a prime example of the "intellectual conceit" evident in judgments of past knowledge ("I knew it all along") extends to estimates of current knowledge and predictions of future behavior

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