Have you ever been around people who live in an echo chamber?
The type of person who only watches news that supports his beliefs, disregards opinions that do not match hers?
The type of person who surround themselves with yes-men who never question their opinions?
I bet you have!
Here’s the truth, we all tend to behave this way to some extent. It’s a hard-wired, irrational human tendency to filter incoming information in a biased way so it confirms our pre-existing belief systems.
This phenomenon is called Confirmation Bias; it’s a well-known psychological inclination. And studies show that smart people are particularly prone to Confirmation Bias. Without realizing it we have the tendency to notice or accept information that supports our current world views; this of course means we don’t notice information that conflicts with our views.
The Confirmation Bias makes people unable to imagine other view points
This phenomenon is most obvious during the political season. Friends who hold opposing political views find themselves genuinely shocked that their friend could be so duped. The day after election day, half of the country is walking around in shock that their candidate lost, asking themselves, “How could this happen?” Without the Confirmation Bias, the cable news outlets would be out of business.
Confirmation bias makes people overly confident, less likely to question their ideas, and live in an echo chamber of their own beliefs.
Why should this matter to you? Because Confirmation Bias can cause professionals to make mistakes.
Feeling bummed after reading how the Confirmation Bias messes us all up?
Don’t worry… I always have action steps!
Now you know that not only does everyone succumb to this, but smart people tend to be especially prone to the Confirmation Bias, you are light years ahead of everyone else. And you have an action plan to battle this behavior so it won’t have negative consequences in your life or your business.
My challenge to you is that you don’t just read this and forget it, but you work to build a system to help keep you on track.
Maybe you schedule a meeting with yourself once a month to revisit the topic and examine your habits.
Maybe you discuss this topic with your mastermind group or your business coach and work to build in a practice of battling bias to help you achieve success.
It’s not sexy, but habit and repetition are the two secrets to real change.
Make battling the Confirmation Bias a habit and repeat it often.
If you liked this article please share it with your friends. Everyone needs a refresher on battling their biases. (Especially people who disagree with you…. Ha!… I kid, I kid… See what I did there?)