Belief Bias

Nov 22 / Network Capital
Never approve an argument purely on basis of its conclusion. Always evaluate and judge an argument comprehensively. Critically analyse its propositions, assumptions, correlations, empirical support and deductions.

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In most cases, it is difficult for us to look at all arguments and statements we hear with an objective lens. This is simply due to the sheer value of information we consume and encounter on a daily basis. In most cases, our existing belief systems predetermine our reaction to any given statement. That is, instead of thinking of our personal values and opinions as true or false, we think of them in terms of probability. Our minds, therefore, automatically favour the more obvious and expected outcome. By doing so, we base our judgement on the convenience and believability of someone’s conclusions, and not the strength and validity of their argument.

Belief Bias is constantly at work in the way we consume news and information. We pick onto the headlines to form our opinions. The more concurrent the conclusion is to our point of view, the more likely we are to believe it. This tendency thrives on three core factors—time, nature of content and culture of conformity. Therefore, to counter Belief Bias we can (a) Take more time and deliberation before reaching to conclusions; (b) Be critical of the way arguments and conclusions are given to us: Do they implicitly perpetuate a singular narrative? and (c) Question and resist the modern culture of conformity and the need for creating opinion-binaries.