I was reading a book recently, Disciple of the Dog, and one sentence jumped out at me:
“… you remember only what confirms your assumptions.”
I did a couple of searches and came across a fascinating article in Wikipedia entitled “Confirmation bias”. It explains much of what is behind the quote.
Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.
It caused me to think about the news sources I look at, the radio programs I listen to and even the way I phrase Google searches.
We gravitate towards sources (and people?) that reinforce our views, even if there is strong evidence that our view is inaccurate.
Our response to weather is a good example of how this works, and you’ll be able to see it in action this coming winter. If winter is colder than normal some people will see that as supporting their view that global warming is rubbish. If winter is warmer than usual, other people will see that as evidence for global warming. In fact both are false assumptions as they confuse weather with climate. (angeles-hill.com/climate-versus-weather)
We all have our prejudices, biases and beliefs, and we are quick to grab at anything that supports them.
“…you remember only what confirms your assumptions.”