The dictionary definition of Confirmation Bias (noun) is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. The term Confirmation Bias was coined by the English psychologist Peter Wason.
So confirmation bias is basically processing of information to confirm one’s previously existing beliefs or biases. It is a type of Cognitive Bias (a systematic thinking error which affects our judgements and decisions) where we try to search for or interpret information according to our beliefs. So, due to our confirmation bias, we tend to give more importance to those information which helps us to prove our point and make up our case, even if such information is totally non-relevant.
One of the most common areas where Confirmation Bias leads to negativity or negatively impacts the outcome is the priocess of talent acquisition, mostly through personal interviews.
A candidate comes a bit shabbily dressed for a position where the basic job demand is for a well dressed person. At the first sight, majority of the interviewers believes that the candidate is not suitable for the post. Once the questioning happens the interviewer seeks for information to substantiate his/ her belief and so the questions happen accordingly. Even if the candidate is able to successfully answer to the questions, the Confirmation Bias remains and opportunity is sought for to confirm the already decided hypothesis “Unsuitable for the post.” On the other hand, if the candidate is unsuccessful in answering the questions, then the questions are always in the same area or topic to fully confirm the belief. The candidate is unable to answer and so the hypothesis is accepted.
In very rare occasions, in the above example, the Conformation Bias of the person is proved wrong. This is due to the rational thinking of the person, ability to overcome his beliefs and make decision based on evidence or information.
Life is beautiful, happier, if we overcome our Confirmation Bias…
I am trying and hope to succeed. Will You?????
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