Confirmation Bias

We interpret facts to confirm our beliefs

“Persons believing in extrasensory perception (ESP) will keep close track of instances when they were ‘thinking about Mom, and then the phone rang and it was her!’ Yet they ignore the far more numerous times when (a) they were thinking about Mom and she didn’t call and (b) they weren’t thinking about Mom and she did call. They also fail to recognize that if they talk to Mom about every two weeks, their frequency of “thinking about Mom” will increase near the end of the two-week-interval, thereby increasing the frequency of a ‘hit.'”

As Catherine A. Sanderson points out in her book, “Social Psychology,” confirmation bias also helps form and re-confirm stereotypes we have about people.

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.