Life Skills Class: Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias

How can understanding confirmation bias be useful?

Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as supportive of one’s existing beliefs or opinions.

Most of us do not go around trying to prove ourselves wrong.

It feels terrible to be proven wrong.

If feels great to be right.

We get to feel… smart, confirmed and in control.

Facts don’t necessarily change our brain’s confirmation bias.

The only thing that changes confirmation bias is something so glaring that we are willing to believe it and feel terrible about it, long enough to change our beliefs or opinions.

Most of the time our brains would rather be efficient and keep believing the same beliefs.

Even if those beliefs themselves feel terrible.

Confirmation bias is great when prior conclusions are terrific.

If we believe we’re awesome our brains find evidence for why we’re so awesome.

Confirmation bias is not great when prior conclusions are terrible.

If we believe we’re a failure, then our brains find evidence and even make-up stories about what we do or don’t do to prove why we’re a failure.

The process of changing our belief systems to support us in being more successful takes effort.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel good, but new focused thoughts over time can become our new belief systems.

Then confirmation bias works in our favor to confirm our new helpful beliefs.