I Am Biased And I Refuse to Accept It!
Humans have the tendency to like people, who are like them, i.e. share their thoughts, ideas, hobbies, choices and habits. When a person makes a choice, it is influenced by many factors, like attractiveness, aesthetics, trends, social acceptance, surroundings and utility.
You might have also noticed that you buy a certain car or a t-shirt and suddenly you see that specific brand of car or t-shirt everywhere. What happens is that our brains get influenced by the object, and since it stays active in our sub-conscious, we become more alert in seeking the same object. So, we pay more attention to it.
Thinking rationally and not aping a notion which is popular, but not logical.
Conformation bias is nothing but an active form of the same phenomenon on a macro level, where it is not just confined to the objects but ideas and beliefs as well. We tend to seek information that reinforces our beliefs.
It can be said that our character can be described as nothing but the collection of the choices we make and ideas we conjure, mixed with the beliefs and ideas that we absorb from the outside. We tend to reject something that we don’t agree with, or which doesn’t appeal us, but accept those which stimulate our brains and thinking.
Encombing Ideas and refuse to shed the wrong ones.
Neha Menon, a psychology student, tells us, “We, as human beings, are very picky in nature, without realizing it. We are capable of selecting things from the things that have been deeply rooted in us. We base our thoughts on our firmly held ideas.We also get irritated when we argue about something, where we know that we are wrong, but still go on trying to prove otherwise.
We go on, trying our views to somehow be proven right and accepted. We refuse to believe that ourfundamentals are in the wrong place. It is a scary thought to one day wake up and to have someone tell you that for your whole life, you have been wrong. That’s why people choose to stay in denial. (Mind it, they choose, while being aware of the real truth).”
“It is very difficult to accept it gradually, and impossible to accept it at once. Take the instance of PK. Almost half of the people who have been protesting against it haven’t watched the movie. Their protests are based on just a random idea that it is against a certain religion, which they belong to. This threatens the threshold of themselves and their organization. We simply can’t reject the concept of religions, because that is a big chunk of who we are. We instinctively believe that, a comfortable lie is better than an inconvenient truth.”
Brains get influenced by the objects in our concious and senses
“So when we argue, we continue to give explanations because it is not just about the argument that we would lose, but we would lose our self. So we get encouraged by beliefs and ideas which proves US right. There is not a single person who does not hold conformation bias. It’s just that, it is about different things for different people.”
Margaret Heffernan, in her book Willful Blindness, explains how our choices and preferences for familiarity makes us willfully blind. We would not be willing to see the talents when it doesn’t match our criteria of talents.
Expanding horizons, and thinking out of the box. Source
Raymond S. Nickerson, famous American psychologist and author says, “If one were to attempt to identify a single problematic aspect of human reasoning that deserves attention above all others, the confirmation bias would have to be among the candidates for consideration. Many have written about this bias, and it appears to be sufficiently strong and pervasive that one is led to wonder whether the bias, by itself, might account for a significant fraction of the disputes, altercations, and misunderstandings that occur among individuals, groups, and nations.”
Now, it poses a question; what can we do about it? We can start accepting. When we break the firewall, we will be able to widen the horizons and know more, that’s how science has grown, by breaking shackles, through centuries. So break the shackles, keep all the theories and beliefs open for revision and think more.