Confirmation Bias and How to Overcome It

Download 2009-11-14 How to Ignore the Yes-Man in Your Head When Investing – WSJ.com

Video on Confirmation Bias

In short, your own mind acts like a compulsive yes-man who echoes whatever you want to believe. Psychologists call this mental gremlin the "confirmation bias." A recent analysis of psychological studies with nearly 8,000 participants concluded that people are twice as likely to seek information that confirms what they already believe as they are to consider evidence that would challenge those beliefs.

Why is a mind-made-up so hard to penetrate?

"We're all mentally lazy," says psychologist Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University in Atlanta. "It's simply easier to focus our attention on data that supports our hypothesis, rather than to seek out evidence that might disprove it."

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