When something contradicts your current understanding, you are likely to dismiss it. This may be adaptive in a world where a big part of the information you encounter is false or is constructed to manipulate you. Things that you don’t currently believe are more likely to be false.
However, this confirmation bias can make it harder to unlearn when that’s valuable to you.
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Most people think about learning as adding knowledge and skills. You now have a new fact in your mind that didn’t exist before.
The most useful learning isn’t usually a strict addition of new knowledge, but first unlearning something false or unhelpful.
“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
Most of our false or doubtful assumptions about the areas that impact our lives are never examined.
We use these assumptions to operate, but because they aren’t actively reflected upon, studied or challenged, they maintain their full force, even if fairly simple arguments could over...
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Confirmation bias is when you actually seek out evidence to support a predisposed belief.
In this strip, Dilbert's boss believes that his managerial skills can affect the company stock. His belief is later reinforced, mostly by coincidence. However, because he was affected by bias h...
Our limiting beliefs sit in our subconscious mind and thus stunt us from seeing—or believing in—possibility. And because of our mind’s confirmation bias (the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories), we are prone to believe what we...
Good stories are simple.
And when they seem coherent, we accept them without activating our critical mind (see "Main cause of biased judgment" in this collection).
In particular, the conspiracy theories have another viral weapon. As the ele...
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