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How to Overcome Confirmation Bias 

As humans, we all tend to fall into a common psychological trap called confirmation bias. It is an information processing error that explains our tendency to filter new information or evidence in a way that confirms preexisting opinions and beliefs. This can create or increase our blind spots because we focus on information that supports what we think is true and ignore evidence that might threaten our preexisting opinion or belief. 

From the Playbook: Confirmation bias can lead to miscommunications, escalating conflicts and even project failures when key pieces of information are overlooked. Consider these three ways to counter confirmation bias to improve your communication, relationships and work product: 

Focus on falsification bias – Confirmation bias can be a strong influence, so you will need to actively look for evidence that disproves your point of view.

Get a different perspective – Get out of your echo chamber. Approach someone you know sees things differently from you and ask them what they are seeing. Be open to their ideas and try to explore them.

Talk with an outside party – Approach a coach or someone you trust to help you impartially explore your thoughts and beliefs without judgment. At UC Merced we have a coach (see below) who can be that partner in this pursuit.