Humans Often Accept Information that Supports their Preconceived Beliefs

Last updated on December 4, 2020
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The Confirmation Bias explains how humans often seek out and accept that which already supports their beliefs. For deeply entrenched beliefs or worldviews and emotionally charged issues, the effect has been found to be even stronger. There are two main ways we display this bias. First, when we give more weight to information that confirms our beliefs and undervalue information that might disprove them, we’re demonstrating the confirmation bias. For example, we might claim that a news story is more credible from one source over another if the source more closely aligns with our preconceived beliefs. We can also display this bias when we selectively gather or recall information. Using the same example as before, we may only subscribe to the news sources that aligns with our preconceived beliefs and selectively filter out news from sources that do not align. Ultimately, the Confirmation Bias helps us to maintain consistency in our thinking by equipping us with mental shortcuts to accept that which already supports our beliefs.
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Klayman, J. (1995). Varieties of confirmation bias. In Psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 32, pp. 385-418). Academic Press.
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