What is confirmation bias and why and how should we overcome it?
Confirmation bias is a common behavior in the workplace. But you are more likely to observe this behavior in others than to notice confirmation bias in your own behavior. This bias can challenge a team's performance by reducing opportunities and the amount of collaboration. When you become the leader of a group, your behavior gets more attention and confirmation bias is more visible at this time. On the other hand, trying to reduce confirmation bias can make your team more effective and inclusive.
In this article, we will examine the definition of confirmation bias, the importance of avoiding it, and provide tips to deal with and overcome this behavior.
What is confirmation bias?
Confirmation bias is the human tendency to expect, evaluate, and process information that is consistent with one's prior beliefs. This set of unconscious beliefs directly affects a person's thought patterns and actions. This bias does not have to be accurate, and in fact, it is often the opposite.
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People with bias confirmation often unconsciously applies thought patterns or beliefs that are invalid in that situation. Based on this data, they try to make the situation look as if it is exactly the same. In this regard, they ignore inconsistent information because it is contrary to their desire and intended understanding of the situation. In other words, conflicting information does not support their conclusions, and so they prefer to ignore it altogether.
Beliefs in confirmation bias often involve assumptions about a situation or expectations about its outcome. confirmation bias often occurs about personal issues and issues, important issues, emotional attachments, or controversy. Sometimes, confirmation bias becomes part of a person's tools for processing information efficiently. But at other times, it is a tool to support and protect yourself and your views.
Why is it important to avoid and avoid confirmation bias?
Confirmation bias is a normal and natural human experience. . Every human being is at risk of suffering from this bias due to personal desires and wishes. Although there is nothing wrong with having personal preferences and interests, you should be careful that these preferences do not interfere with your decision-making process. Avoiding confirmation bias can help you:
- Expand your perspectives
- Evaluate your decisions
- Consider new ideas
- Enhance your innovation and collaboration
- Experience growth and development
Reduce cases and use confirmation bias in an effort and approach It is a team that may increase team cohesion and effectiveness.
5 tips and solutions to overcome confirmation bias
Avoidance of confirmation bias requires constant and conscious effort. Team members may not even be aware of the challenges. In the following, we will share with you a list of 5 different strategies and tips to overcome confirmation bias.
1. Do your research before you make an opinion
This is especially important when your decision depends on the time factor. In such situations, it is very important to do adequate research before making an opinion. During this research process, you will probably find that you are more interested in one side of the topic or question.
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Although the formation of this tendency is natural, but sufficient research and investigation and the use of different sources will allow you to find a more comprehensive understanding of the question or problem created, and this will also lead to the avoidance of the formation bias will be confirmed.
2. Challenge yourself
Although it may seem a bit uncomfortable and difficult, by challenging yourself and your thoughts you can expand your mental processing ability. You can apply this approach to any topic you are investigating and make your final assessment more balanced and logical. You can approach this challenge in a variety of ways. Including:
- Researching and examining the other side and the opposite of our argument
- Requesting opinions from other people (examining the views of both sides of the debate)
- Experiment to decide which side offers the most benefit.
- Consider all elements and aspects of the problem and its effects on all stakeholders
Completing this challenge may increase the complexity of your theme on the surface. However, gaining a deeper understanding of the subject can be a step forward in combating confirmation bias in your behavior. When you realize that the topic is very broad and it cannot be easily covered based on one method and An intellectually interpreted approach will also reduce the possibility of confirmation bias.
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3. Take time to evaluate
Although it is almost impossible to avoid bias, you can make a conscious decision to reduce or stop making your own snap judgments. This will help you to evaluate the subjects with more knowledge. The more time you spend on a subject, the more complete and better your evaluation of the subject will be. For example, if you read only the title or subject of an email, confirmation bias is likely to affect your opinion and view of the rest of the email.
If you feel that just by reading the subject and Or you start to judge and form an opinion about the first line of a text, make sure to force yourself to read the rest of the text. Always try to find out more about an opinion before you make one. Reading the entire article or message can provide you with enough context and information to form your point of view and argument. So, consider all the ideas and expand your perspective.
4. Change your mindset and allow yourself to make mistakes
Admitting mistakes and learning from them can help you improve your decision-making and thinking processes and become a better team member for the organization. be yourself. Learning how to avoid and eliminate confirmation bias can involve understanding misunderstandings, misconceptions, and making mistakes. Sometimes you have to accept the limitations and mistakes of your worldview and thought system in order to avoid confirmation bias.
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So, instead of taking a defensive position and avoiding these moments, our advice is to embrace your mistakes and weaknesses and face them. Changing your way of thinking to welcome challenging worldviews, preconceived notions and ideas can even influence those around you and encourage them to do the same.
5. Revise your worldview
Reexamining your thought processes can help you overcome confirmation bias. Taking the time to do this will help you develop a comprehensive thought and belief system. It also allows you to apply what you have recently learned to thinking about current issues.
As you learn new things, your thinking system becomes richer and more powerful. In such situations, taking the time to review current beliefs and lines of thought will help you provide more comprehensive analyzes of problems and issues.
What does confirmation bias look like in the workplace?
Confirmation bias causes unwanted effects on people's processes and decisions in the workplace. This bias may affect companies' strategy, project management, hiring, decision-making, research, and marketing. For example, when a new product is first introduced to a marketing team, they often research the buyer persona of that product.
The existence of confirmation bias in the members of this team may cause them to ignore part of their audience; A section that may include potential buyers of this product. For example, their personal beliefs may be that only older women use their product. This belief can affect the success of this product. Because their product may not be limited to any gender in reality, and people of different genders and age groups may be among their potential buyers.
The marketing group of this company can benefit by conducting extensive research and challenge activities. Based on this research, they may find out the demographic characteristics of the competitor's product buyers and find enough evidence to target a wider range of buyers.
This marketing group may also survey their current buyers and Complete your information about the new product. This helps them identify more potential buyers. Taking the time to review and revise past beliefs will make them realize their mistakes and take a better approach to increase their sales.
Source: Indeed a >