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Confirmation Bias: Why We Only Like Facts That Agree With Us

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EDITORIAL – Confirmation Bias: Why We Only Like Facts That Agree With Us

Why do facts sometimes seem like they’re just bouncing off our brains like pesky mosquitos? It’s a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance, and it’s when our beliefs and values just can’t handle those pesky little bits of information that contradict them. But hey, we’re only human!

One reason we might not be swayed by facts is that we tend to be biased in our thinking. We love the information that confirms what we already believe while ignoring or dismissing anything that might shatter our precious beliefs. It’s called confirmation bias, and it can make it tough to consider new ideas or perspectives that challenge what we already think.

Another reason facts might not change our minds is that we might not have the proper context or understanding to evaluate the information that’s being presented to us. For example, if we’re given a statistic about an issue, we might not have all the background or methodology behind it, which could make it harder to interpret accurately. Without the right context and data, it’s tough to tell if the information is even valid.

And let’s not forget about our emotions! They can play a huge role in how we process and interpret information. If a fact goes against our deeply held beliefs or values, it can be emotionally tough to accept. We might become defensive or resistant to the idea, even if it’s backed up by evidence. But if a fact supports our beliefs or values, we might accept it without a second thought.

Sometimes, our level of expertise or knowledge in a subject can also impact whether or not we’re open to new information. If we’re well-versed in a topic, we might be more willing to consider new ideas and perspectives. But if we’re not as knowledgeable, we might be more resistant to accepting information that challenges our existing beliefs.

And last but not least, the way information is presented to us can also influence whether or not we’re willing to accept it. If it’s presented in a confrontational or patronizing way, we’re more likely to reject it. But if it’s respectful and unbiased, we might be more open to considering it.

So, to sum it up: there are lots of factors that can make it hard for us to accept new facts and information. Our biases, emotions, understanding of a subject, and how information is presented to us can all play a role in whether or not we’re willing to change our minds. While facts are important in our decision-making process, it’s good to be aware of these biases and to be open to new ideas and perspectives.

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