Bias Can Get You Lost

I like to think that I’m a rational person and that I make reasoned decisions on the basis of a considered weighing up of all the information.  This is important, as sound decision-making is vital for the safety of me and other people in the mountain sports that I do.  The truth is that I am as vulnerable as everyone else to my decision-making being distorted by biases that lead to less than rational thinking.Where am I going?

Confirmation bias is the tendency people have to accept information if it supports what they believe and to reject information if it contradicts these beliefs.  This is because people give more weight to information that supports their existing beliefs and are more likely to look for such information.  Conversely, confirmation bias means that people tend to give less weight to information that challenges their existing beliefs and are less likely to look for it.  If they do find such disconfirming information, people are inclined to explain it away or attempt to discredit it. Read more