You See What You Want To See

You meet your daughter's boyfriend for the first time. You noticed he didn't help with house chores or give "orders" to your daughter. You form a poor impression of him. He's lazy and demanding.

Afterwards, every action or non-action proves your belief. You speak to your daughter, and she thinks you're over-protective.

Yet, could it be that this impression is based on what you wanted to see?

This is one of many examples of confirmation bias. People are attracted to ideas, information or examples that confirm pre-existing beliefs.

Everyone has confirmation bias.

People like the familiar, and anything unfamiliar is wrong. And so, people search, interpret and recall information that supports familiar beliefs. Any information that contradicts their belief is ignored or opposed.

The danger is that your judgments and decisions will be based on "half-truths". You cannot make a fair judgment or make optimal decisions without considering all information and diverse perspectives.

To counter confirmation bias, intentionally look for disconfirming and relevant facts. Force yourself to write, answer and elaborate counterarguments.

Otherwise, you'll continue to live a "half" life. Because you only see what you want to see.

Confirmation bias is the most effective way to go on living a lie. — Criss Jami

Inspired by Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast And Slow