Frey Freyday – Confirmation Bias

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

 Confirmation bias – a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.

As people’s opportunities to succumb to confirmation bias increases online – only seeking out information that confirms their prejudices – ignorance, extremism and close-mindedness have continued to rise unabated. Maajid Nawaz

Being deeply knowledgeable on one subject narrows one’s focus and increases confidence, but it also blurs dissenting views until they are no longer visible, thereby transforming data collection into bias confirmation and morphing self-deception into self-assurance. Michael Shermer

Confirmation Bias –
put simply; it is a type of cognitive bias that involves favoring information that confirms previously existing beliefs or biases.

Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study.

Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.

For example, if you think that left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people, then whenever you meet someone that is both left-handed and creative, you typically will place greater importance on this “evidence” supporting the existing belief. You might even seek “proof” that further backs up this belief while discounting examples that do not support this idea.

We all do it. Liberals and conservatives. Republicans and Democrats. Rich and Poor.

Confirmation bias can also be found in those of us who may be more fearful or anxious, and/or those of us that view the world as threatening, dangerous or similar.

If you ever experienced feelings of low self-esteem, or know someone who is feeling inferior, confirmation bias manifests itself in a way that makes you or the individual highly sensitive to being ignored by other people. We’ve all observed it in ourselves and others, we’re constantly monitoring for signs that people might not like us. We’ve all done it in some way, if we are worried that someone is annoyed with us, we are then biased toward all the negative information about that person acts toward us. We may even interpret neutral behavior as indicative of something really negative.

Also in a related way, these are two other things we need to be aware of and avoid:

Recency bias is the belief that current trends, good or bad, will continue. Tony Robbins and various clinical psychologists says the solution is to create a checklist of all the steps you’re taking towards your goal and refer to it frequently. That will help you stay on track, whatever current conditions may be.

Loss aversion is the tendency to recall negative experiences more readily than positive ones and to let those darker memories shape your expectations for the future. This can be overcome by actively planning in advance for challenges and setbacks. These bumps in the road are inevitable and don’t need to be feared. (Source


What can we do about it? The answer lies in first recognizing that we have this bias and then in desiring to overcome it. Not easy. If you are willing to try, then here are a few pointers:

  • If you regularly read blogs for news and opinions, add one or two that comes from a different perspective. Not a radically different one (as that will likely make you even more staunch in your position), but one that offers views you might normally dismiss or not consider.
  • Reflect. Most of the political issues that are most controversial have no easy, black-and-white answer. Ask yourself why someone would hold an opinion adverse to your own. Why would some people dedicate their lives and careers to trying to something other than your viewpoint?
  • Spend time with people whose views you disagree, but whose company you don’t mind. Mere exposure to someone whose views differ from your own can help both of you understand the other’s position, even if your fundamental views don’t change.
  • Try to think from their perspective, try to understand.


Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

Tagged: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: