Confirmation danger

I’m going to talk to you about Jill. Jill wants to lose weight and selects a particular diet, she checks her progress on the scales every morning. If she has lost weight she pats herself on the back and considers the diet a success.
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If she has gained weight she rights it off as a normal fluctuation and forgets about it, for months she lives under the illusion that the diet is working even though her weight remains constant. Sound familiar? I hope not!
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The reason I hope it’s not familiar to you is that Jill is a victim of the confirmation bias albeit a harmless form of it. The confirmation bias is the mother of all misconceptions, it’s the tendency to interpret new information so it becomes compatible with our existing theories beliefs and convictions, in other words, we filter out any new information that contradicts our existing views disconfirming evidence.
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This is a dangerous practice, facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored! However, we do exactly that! What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so their prior conclusions remain intact.
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If the word exception comes up, pay attention! Often it hides the presence of disconfirming evidence it. Fight the confirmation bias whenever observations contradict your theory take them seriously! The brain does a very good job of forgetting disconfirming evidence after a short time!
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The more certain you judge your belief to be the more active you should be in looking for contradictions!

Published by Andrew Shaw

Personal Trainer Chocolate connoisseur Lifts weights Holiday lover I interview fitness folk on YouTube

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