Confirmation Bias Rosemarie Hamm September 21, 2012 Confirmation Bias Confirmation bias is the human habit of seeking information that confirms one’s judgments or assumptions. One’s current feelings about a situation, memory, or person influence one’s thoughts and memories about that situation, memory, or person. If one is feeling negatively about something or someone, the individual will often recall the worst factors or memories about that person or circumstances.
However; if one is feeling positively about something or someone, the individual may recall the best factors or memories about that person or circumstances. In this way, one confirms his or her own current feelings. This can end badly; if bad feelings lead to bad memories; which then lead to more bad feelings, in a vicious cycle. This may also cause problems when someone becomes overconfident about someone or something; when his or her positive feelings lead to positive memories and positive expectations [ (Myers, 2012) ].
An example of confirmation bias in relation to negative feelings could be found in a friendship ending without just cause. One person may develop a negative attitude about a friendship. This individual may recall the worst times and forget the best times; which confirms his or perceptions. These perceptions then contribute to more negative memories, and cause a downward spiraling effect [ (Myers, 2012) ]. An example of confirmation bias in relation to positive feelings could be found in a dysfunctional romantic relationship.
It is common to overlook negative traits in a new romantic relationship. Positive feelings often affect one’s perceptions of the other individual. One partner may be dishonest or irresponsible; but the other partner may not realize this. The other partner’s positive feelings are masking his or her perceptions of the dishonest or irresponsible partner. The dysfunctional romantic relationship will continue until this cycle ends [ (Myers, 2012) ]. References Myers, D. (2012). Exploring social psychology. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.