As noted in our previous post, confirmation bias is the tendency to pursue and embrace information that matches our existing beliefs; and this inclination to look for supportive data can easily lead us to serious mistakes…
In other words, we become more likely to look for evidence that the idea we favor is correct rather than look for ways it may be wrong.
Here are three ways in which we can protect our decision-making from the related distortion:
- Recognize the bias and remind ourselves to look for it in our decisions and analyses. Remember that the authors of everything we read are making a point that is supported by the data they present, but is not necessarily by data they do not present.
- Make a habit of asking ourselves, “What else could it be?” We must think creatively about alternative explanations and alternative solutions, and do our best to explore them.
- Encourage the expression of contrary views and ideas.