Look for the “No!”

look for the no

As the saying goes, “With experience comes wisdom… and confirmation bias!”

As you may know, confirmation bias is the tendency to pursue and embrace information that matches our existing beliefs. Human nature encourages us to seek out and enjoy people who write or say exactly what we think, and we often gravitate toward these sources not for information but for confirmation.

Naturally, this can be dangerous when engaged in CI or other problem solving efforts!

When we find ourselves feeling overly-good about an opinion or conclusion, a better course of action, and one that aligns with ‘critical thinking’ best practices, is to make every effort to “prove ourselves wrong!”

In other words, consider alternatives. Or, as philosopher and journalist Emile Chartier Alain put it, “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.”

Here are five suggestions for avoiding the “confirmation bias” pitfall:

  1. Don’t Believe Everything You’re Told; the 1st step is to consider more than one point of view – “prove yourself wrong!”
  2. Don’t Believe Everything You Think
  3. Ask Questions
  4. Research Deeper
  5. Evaluate Your Work