In the previous post, we linked to Part One of Sandman’s advice about confirmation bias. Here is an overview of part two:
Now I want to address a different question: how to overcome– well, partly overcome– your own confirmation bias.
I don’t want to sound too Pollyanna here, and I certainly don’t want to sound preachy or holier-than-thou. I have plenty of trouble making myself read articles I know I’m going to disagree with – and I’ve pretty much given up on making myself read them with an open mind.
Even Daniel Kahneman, the godfather of research into confirmation bias and kindred cognitive biases, confesses in his book Thinking Fast and Slow that after decades of study he still regularly falls prey to them.
So don’t expect miracles. Yet some of Kahneman’s research deals directly with strategies for reducing confirmation bias. He and others have found some approaches that help at least a little.