Confirmation Bias

Warren Buffett, the top investor in the world said, “ What the human being is best at doing, is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”

It means that we tend to only seek information that confirms our own theories. This is called the confirmation bias in cognitive thinking.

Let me explain with an example. Let’s say you are having an argument with a friend of yours on ‘Men are better drivers’ Then, to back up your argument with it, you will google men are better drivers. And you’ll get hundreds of articles supporting your line of thought. However, you will not search ‘women are better drivers’ which will get equal number of articles to support it.

Let me give you another example.

I sometimes get to hear the following, “Hey, don’t eat that chips because it has plastic. You can burn it and check it. Or don’t drink cola as it has pesticide in it.” I said that is nonsense. To back their argument, they sent me a video which went like this. They tend to find any kind of content they are really looking for.

This is how people tend to seek information that will confirm whatever their theories are and this shifts them away from the truth vastly.

In fact, social media strengthens our confirmation bias. If we read content on a lot of let’s say travelling or photography or chips having plastic, then we will get articles that are of a similar nature because of the beautiful algorithm that social media has. Hence, we will never be able to come out of the line of thought that we are stuck with.

Next time, you are preparing for a discussion, researching on a topic, having a discussion with a friend  keep in mind the confirmation bias and don’t just find information that will support your argument but try and find the opposite evidence as well.

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