Fake News or Real? Addressing Confirmation Bias

Topic: Cognitive Psychology
Words: 314 Pages: 1

Confirmation bias is one of the most interesting phenomena almost everyone has. Since people tend to find it stressful to change their views or give up their assumptions and beliefs, it is usually unpleasant to find evidence proving an opposing viewpoint on an issue (McRaney). Consequently, many humans prefer to search for information that can confirm that their opinion is correct. Once this is achieved, they stop searching and pretend that there is no evidence supporting other positions (McRaney). Precisely this is known as confirmation bias, and there are some ways to overcome this tendency.

To begin with, it is essential for an individual to change their overall attitude toward the world. He or she needs to understand and admit that there are various opinions on a topic, and one’s view can be relatively or completely right or wrong. People can be mistaken for years on some issues precisely because of the vast amount of information available, which can be both true and false (McRaney). Recognizing the fact that an individual may be wrong before seeking information on a question is already a major step toward overcoming confirmation bias (Bethel College Library). Further, before trying to find evidence, it is better not to take any specific position. For example, if a parent wants to learn about the safety of childhood vaccines, they should remain neutral unless they read many credible supporting and opposing articles. Only after that is it possible to come to a conclusion.

Another step is to stop avoiding communicating and having major discussions with people who see things differently. Exchanging information with them can help one see the whole picture and see the problem from a different angle. What is more, if a person remains in a neutral position during this discussion, it will be possible for them to assess the different opinions and probably change theirs without hurting their ego.

Works Cited

Bethel College Library. “Fake News or Real? Or How to Become Media Savvy: Confirmation Bias.” Bethel College Library, 2021. Web.

McRaney, David. “Confirmation Bias.” You Are Not So Smart, 2010.

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