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Confirmation Bias

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about confirmation bias and how we can begin to see past it. So confirmation bias happens when we cherry pick information that supports our existing beliefs and we reject the information that goes against what we believe. So the effect of this bias becomes much stronger in the case of very deeply ingrained beliefs, when we hold tightly to the need to be right, or when we have emotionally charged views. This can be problematic because failing to view information in an unbiased way can lead to significant misjudgments and misunderstandings.

For example, in a 2013 study from Matt Kahan and others at Yale Law School, they found that confirmation bias affects the way people view statistics. They found that people tend to infer information from statistics that backs up their existing beliefs, even when the data supports a completely opposite view. That's how powerful the effect of confirmation bias can be. And it can really pose a serious problem when you're trying to make a rational and fact-based decision. Once formed, our beliefs and viewpoints are remarkably persistent.

Now you might be listening to this right now and thinking. This doesn't really apply to me so much because I am one of those rational, and open-minded people. I only observe the facts before becoming, coming to a decision. But unfortunately, we all have confirmation bias to some degree. It's just a part of how the human mind is wired.

So it's very difficult to overcome this natural tendency without deliberate effort. However, if we are aware of confirmation bias and accept the fact that it really does likely operate within all of us a lot of the time, we can make a deliberate effort to see beyond it. And here's three ways you can do that. First, see if you can relax the need to be right and instead become more open and curious about opposing views, really listening to what the other side has to say and why. As you do so, truly consider that it might not be correct what you're thinking and try to see through the eyes of another person.

This can help us to view decisions and issues from multiple different perspectives and come to a more objective conclusion. Also look for ways to challenge what you think. Question your assumptions and viewpoints regularly, and seek out information from a range of different sources. Also, it can help to discuss your thoughts with others who have diverse views, instead of only those who agree with your ways of thinking or saying things. So see if you can get comfortable with listening to those views and discussing yours in a compassionate and open way.

So just continuing to be aware that confirmation bias may be affecting you. Even just knowing that as you gather information, can support you in keeping a more open, flexible, and unbiased mind. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Confirmation Bias

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about confirmation bias and how we can begin to see past it. So confirmation bias happens when we cherry pick information that supports our existing beliefs and we reject the information that goes against what we believe. So the effect of this bias becomes much stronger in the case of very deeply ingrained beliefs, when we hold tightly to the need to be right, or when we have emotionally charged views. This can be problematic because failing to view information in an unbiased way can lead to significant misjudgments and misunderstandings.

For example, in a 2013 study from Matt Kahan and others at Yale Law School, they found that confirmation bias affects the way people view statistics. They found that people tend to infer information from statistics that backs up their existing beliefs, even when the data supports a completely opposite view. That's how powerful the effect of confirmation bias can be. And it can really pose a serious problem when you're trying to make a rational and fact-based decision. Once formed, our beliefs and viewpoints are remarkably persistent.

Now you might be listening to this right now and thinking. This doesn't really apply to me so much because I am one of those rational, and open-minded people. I only observe the facts before becoming, coming to a decision. But unfortunately, we all have confirmation bias to some degree. It's just a part of how the human mind is wired.

So it's very difficult to overcome this natural tendency without deliberate effort. However, if we are aware of confirmation bias and accept the fact that it really does likely operate within all of us a lot of the time, we can make a deliberate effort to see beyond it. And here's three ways you can do that. First, see if you can relax the need to be right and instead become more open and curious about opposing views, really listening to what the other side has to say and why. As you do so, truly consider that it might not be correct what you're thinking and try to see through the eyes of another person.

This can help us to view decisions and issues from multiple different perspectives and come to a more objective conclusion. Also look for ways to challenge what you think. Question your assumptions and viewpoints regularly, and seek out information from a range of different sources. Also, it can help to discuss your thoughts with others who have diverse views, instead of only those who agree with your ways of thinking or saying things. So see if you can get comfortable with listening to those views and discussing yours in a compassionate and open way.

So just continuing to be aware that confirmation bias may be affecting you. Even just knowing that as you gather information, can support you in keeping a more open, flexible, and unbiased mind. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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