While many people are more comfortable hearing advice which affirm our existing beliefs, the custom of seeking contradictory advice is what empowers us to become more informed and make better choices.
But, this apparently natural clinic isn’t the norm. Rather, we like to be informed what we already know or think, which will be more technically termed”confirmation bias.”
Confirmation bias is the propensity to pursue and adopt information that matches our current beliefs. We are apt to find and appreciate people who say or write precisely what we believe. We gravitate toward those sources not for advice but for affirmation!
The problem with confirmation bias starts as it gets into the means of searching out truth; and much more alarming is the fact it is particularly poisonous to highly-experienced and effective people. Consider the”more people understand” the more probable it is that we’ll have the ability to lack encouraging data or research.
This inclining to search for encouraging data can certainly lead us to serious errors. With no conscientious attempt to steer clear of confirmation bias, lots of tiny options – all valid in their own – are inclined to be united to encourage our first opinions. Consequently, we believe we’re creating data-driven choices, but we’re actually collecting decision-driven data.
In concept, the explosion of data would cause better and more information, more nuanced comprehension, and less prejudice, but as Nate Silver points from the Introduction to his book, The Signal and the Noise, we confront threat whenever the amount of data grows faster than our ability to effectively and efficiently process it. We have to select what information to get and to charge, and this 'therefore our biases carry over.
If those details have prompted you to reevaluate your approach to investigate and decision-making, here are 3 things which could enable you to stay away from confirmation bias:
- Realize the prejudice and remind yourself to search for it on your choices and assesses. Inform yourself that the writers of whatever you read (like this article) are creating a point that’s supported by the information that they present, but isn’t necessarily by info they don’t present and in fact might not have noticed if they did not look hard enough to get conflicting data. Remind yourself the folks supplying you with recommendations and analysis will also be subject to confirmation bias. Request conflicting data.
- Constantly ask yourself”what else is it?” Think creatively about alternative explanations and other solutions. Learn more about the entire feasible set, if at all possible.
- Invite others to express contradictory viewpoints and thoughts. Aggressively seek out and try to comprehend contrarian viewpoints. For a lot of , the first urge would be to refute contrarian perspectives and debate our own. However, the best choices are most likely to be created by people who”seek first to know rather than be known.”
If you appreciate the differences in people, the gaps will create value. Or stated another way,”Would you prove yourself wrong?”