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Confirmation bias

Added Mon, 08/02/2021
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Confirmation bias (in English-language literature, the term "confirmation bias" is used) is usually called a person's desire to prove their own opinion.

This cognitive distortion is quite complex: within its framework, they act (separately or jointly) three mechanisms of biased judgment of reality:

  • biased search for information (conscious or unconscious search for information that confirms the opinion of the seeker)
  • biased interpretation (any information, as well as the outcome of any event, can be interpreted in two ways. A person who has his own well-established opinion on a particular issue, under the influence of confirmation bias, will interpret new information (regardless of its content) in favor of what he thinks. For example, the famous incident with blue curtains, which "symbolize the deep depression of the main character" for the teacher of literature, but in fact — according to the author's idea — just blue. )
  • memory bias (people seeking to prove their point will recall and use the evidence to their advantage)

The main factor influencing the biased use of memories is emotions (it is worth noting that over time, the emotional response to specific events weakens (it is often said that time heals), so people may mistakenly evaluate their already past reaction as either weaker or stronger than what it actually was).

They explain the occurrence of confirmation bias usually with an eye to two different thinking strategies:

  • cognitive (a person's mental resources are quite limited and, instead of weighing all the pros and cons of two opposite approaches, he chooses one — the one that seems to him the most meaningful and the arguments in favor (and not against!) which one is the easiest to pick up)
  • motivated (a person is inclined to look for and find arguments in favor of what is being done (sometimes unconsciously) he would very much like to).

 This is quite a dangerous phenomenon not only for the scientific sphere, but also for the ordinary life of a person (both in a positive and negative way), since a person is inclined to convince himself of some version of events. Therefore, any person needs to learn to interpret information impartially.


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