Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Prevent Confirmation Bias

Learning how to prevent confirmation bias from making you susceptible to political pandering is pretty straightforward. Applying the necessary techniques consistently is hard.
  1. Facts, facts, facts! Get some. Then get some more. Become your own proactive news aggregator.

  2. Confirm all 'facts,' opinions, and arguments. Are the premises true? Do they prove the conclusion? Only then is an argument sound.

  3. Avoid logical fallacies. Ad hominem attack is just one of dozens of logical fallacies. Learn what they are and beware of their use.

  4. Reference multiple sources with different points of view.

  5. Concentrate on reliable non-partisan sources that provide references to back up their statements. and Wikipedia are a good start, but keep going.

  6. Identify and combat your own confirmation bias. Be honest with yourself. In your heart you know what your biases are.

  7. Question all authority - religious leaders, politicians, and so-called experts.

  8. Get the facts before forming an opinion, not after.

  9. Subject your opinions to the test of fact-based logical reasoning. If they are found wanting, discard them. Doing otherwise leads to hypocrisy.

  10. Love the truth more than your biases.
That last one is the hardest. However, take it from Panderbear, the longer and more frequently you apply the other nine, the easier it will get. Learning to prevent confirmation bias from making you an easy mark for pandering is worth the effort. You'll see.

submit to reddit Share on Tumblr

No comments:

Post a Comment