Confirmation Bias: How do your beliefs stand up to facts

Introduction:

Confirmation bias is the principal of confirming the results or meaning before it thinking through. Based on one’s belief or hypotheses. In finding sources that support both sides of an argument rather than one’s beliefs.

Bias can be a decision on issues in one’s life that could come from previous experiences. A rational explanation requiring rational, thorough research to come to a decision.

The science:

Confirmation bias is the confirmation to support your beliefs. Finding evidence that both argue for and against of one’s beliefs. This vital to getting all the information to support your case until everyone agrees. (Sounds impossible right?)

Positive confirmation bias is when you research and have confirmed the rational path to a decision. Negative is when one has no experience and zero research has been done, and they believe without any informative information.

Confirmation bias as information processing
Image by Ira Gorelick

Gender Bias: Double standards

The assumption that the sex of the individual is weaker, ruder or not worthy. In drawing conclusions of gender, we can be biased. Double standards toward how we view sex on gender stereotypes.

Double standards are a powerful social norm, integrated into society as a belief system. Most are viewed as valid stereotypes; however, the majority are used negatively and are biased towards different genders.

Science Bias: Sokal Hoax

A 1996 paper of absolute nonsense were published where sources were used based on jargon to the relevant text’s. Many have followed suit in recreating this method.

We can prove anything with words, however, when we add alternative evidence the information becomes false.

Testing existing beliefs

Testing existing beliefs is determined by previous experience or learned false evidence.

Moreover, choosing previous experiences over evidence that would make one’s beliefs false.

Testing existing beliefs by researching those beliefs, changing the results of the outcome of the decision.

In economics or marketing, this is akin to a buyer’s decision based on research. Rather than purchasing an upgrade of what you already have.

The Conversation:

To reduce negative confirmation bias, you can use critical thinking techniques to assist. Finding sources rather than just going with it because someone said something to you on social media or in person.

Bias on brands

We all know how often a certain company releases a new mobile phone. Some are confirming that they need the minor upgrades that come with the yearly release.

Buying a product that is slightly better than the previous product may have some benefits for some. Although, this may not be the case for most.

Following trends because they are popular without research is a negative confirmation bias. We all saw this with the Tide Pod trend.

Bias and Double standards

Sexual double standards are putting a gender in a box they don’t belong. Each individual has a unique need, and judging another gender by their actions is unwarranted.

Confirming that someone fits a profile is inappropriate, acting as though they have done wrong. Especially when the perception is not valid.

Avoiding attitude towards another gender to confirming they are who they are is bias. Sexual double standards are usually associated with negative annotations.

There has been shown that negative sexual bias is associated with the female sex. However, it is not uncommon for other sexes to be targeted negatively.

Combating false beliefs

Combat false beliefs by asking questions about meaning when discussing topics, rather than responding with a no. Responding with a no, or you’re wrong, think about how the other perceives the topic.

Discover the truth, ask questions, discuss topics like an adult by understanding the perception of another. Reduce projecting your emotional bias on to another.

Conclusion:

Just because you read or heard it somewhere, does not make it a valid truth. Finding alternate theories and methods from quality sources to make decision, avoiding bias.

Don’t follow beliefs blindly, do your research and make positive decisions. Make sure your hypothesis focused on alternative sources rather than one’s beliefs.

Sources:

Simply Psychology

Confirmation Bias in Psychology

Positive Confirmation Bias In The Acquisition Of Information

Confirmation Bias and the Sexual Double Standard

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