- Facts, facts, facts! Get some. Then get some more. Become your own proactive news aggregator.
- Confirm all 'facts,' opinions, and arguments. Are the premises true? Do they prove the conclusion? Only then is an argument sound.
- Avoid logical fallacies. Ad hominem attack is just one of dozens of logical fallacies. Learn what they are and beware of their use.
- Reference multiple sources with different points of view.
- Concentrate on reliable non-partisan sources that provide references to back up their statements. PolitiFact.com and Wikipedia are a good start, but keep going.
- Identify and combat your own confirmation bias. Be honest with yourself. In your heart you know what your biases are.
- Question all authority - religious leaders, politicians, and so-called experts.
- Get the facts before forming an opinion, not after.
- Subject your opinions to the test of fact-based logical reasoning. If they are found wanting, discard them. Doing otherwise leads to hypocrisy.
- Love the truth more than your biases.
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.