CHAPTER 8Confirmation Bias

“What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”

— Warren Buffett

From where do your political and social perspectives emanate? When you think about your journey in being liberal, conservative, moderate, and so on, where exactly did it all begin? Not a question that you want to ask at a cocktail party, but interesting when you consider each of our journeys relative to what we hold as true and perhaps right. Within our political positions, moral and religious beliefs, and stances on social issues, we have had at least the opportunity to hear a conflicting argument or data regarding our position. Perhaps we are ignoring conflicting arguments from other perspectives because we have limited our information consumption entirely to sources that are consistent with our positions. Maybe we even eliminated contact with friends and family who have conflicting views, or perhaps unfriended those on social media who see it from a different perspective. Many of us develop a position and then seek out information that confirms that belief and ignore data or facts that might refute our position. We might even remember instances where that position was supported and not remember instances where our position was refuted, even if we were exposing ourselves to objective reporting and information. This trajectory – from taking a position, seeking information that supports it at the expense of ...

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