On the virtue of changing one’s mind (II) - Thinking in Business - Deepstash

We automatically search and take into consideration only information that confirms our point of view.

A rooted form of confirmation bias is self-serving bias, meaning the tendency to explain ourselves the good results through our positive nature and the negative results through the hostile context. And vice versa.


A study led by Dan Kahan (2017) shows that we know how to identify a mistake in the design of an experiment, when research is about a hand cream (a neutral subject), but not when the experiment confirms the need for greater control of firearms (ias long as we are great supporters of this public policy).


  1. Actively seek information that contradicts our position. It’s useful to bring to the decision table someone who will play the role of devil’s advocate, same as in group thinking.
  2. Put neutral questions when asking for advice or doing market research (don't guide respondents)
  3. Stop looking at beliefs as certainties with possible values 0% or 100% and to start looking at their nuances. Try to give a percentage value to our deep beliefs on which decisions with important consequences are based.


Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.