Friday, April 13, 2012
I could be wrong, but...
We tend to recall evidence that favors our conclusion. We like to think it goes the other way, that conclusions logically follow the evidence. But our brains don't tend to work that way. It's called confirmation bias.
Our brains work associatively, which is wonderful for finding answers quickly. And when in danger, a quick answer that might be right is often more valuable that a more correct answer that is not delivered quickly enough to deal with the danger.
For most of us in most situations, we are not in danger of being eaten by a sabre tooth tiger in the next few seconds, so we have more time to develop better answers rather than relying on quick answers. We can overcome confirmation bias by explicitly looking for evidence that contradicts our assumptions. It takes more time, but it improves our chances of doing the right thing.
Posted at 12:00 AM (permalink)
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