• Chetneet Chouhan

Why Confirmation Bias is Dangerous for Learners



Let's explore this cognitive bias.


DIY Diagnoses

A British teen went to the doctor. The doctor made a rare mistake. The news got viral.


On the other hand, people who have died because they tried to DIY their diagnoses don't make any good news. At-least they don't get viral.


Because it feeds the public's insatiable confirmation biases that doctors get so much wrong. And their "research" (which is usually is just internet grazing) is correct all the time.


Confirmation Bias


With this, we have learned that something that contradicts your belief, even that is true, we don't like it.


This makes us harder and harder to bring changes.


Rationalizing the internet and social media addiction is very common. Saying that they are learning while sitting in front of a laptop or phone for over 8 hours a day, surfing and scrolling.


Or a teen who is rationalizing his gaming addiction. Because it feeds that playing games prepare them to be become pro (very little chance) or making them ready for the real world (nope, its addiction).


This creates a mentality of "We" vs "Them". "We" are those people who believe this and here are some sources and news. "Those" are (enemy) not have shared beliefs as us.


This makes it hard for people to change their lives for good.


Overcoming Confirmation Bias


So how to overcome this?


Keep asking questions. Are you rejecting an idea because you feel like it? or there is really some solid explanation?


Whenever there is a contracting idea to me, I always win. Either I get something new to learn. Or if a new idea is wrong for me, this helps me strengthen my other ideas. Thinking on paper helps.


Prove yourself wrong. Don't attach yourself to any ideology, cult, or thought of school.


“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
"Old Man's Advice to Youth: 'Never Lose a Holy Curiosity.'" LIFE Magazine (2 May 1955) p. 64”
― Albert Einstein

Biases aren't bad things, they help us make sense of the world. Just make sure, don't let some biases get into your way of solving unresolved mysteries of life.


Photo by Robina Weermeijer.


Copyright © Chetneet Chouhan 2019-20.

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Made with love in Ujjain, India.