Browse Definitions :
Definition

confirmation bias

Contributor(s): Kaitlin Herbert

Confirmation bias is a type of mistake that occurs in thinking when information that confirms a pre-existing belief is given priority over information that does not support a preexisting belief. Informally, confirmation bias is sometimes referred to as wishful thinking.

Confirmation bias occurs when people filter out facts and opinions that don’t coincide with their preconceived notions. When a decision is made before all the data is examined, there is a danger of falling prey to confirmation bias, even when someone is trying to be objective.

In predictive modeling and big data analytics, confirmation bias can steer an analyst towards seeking evidence that favors an initial hypothesis. For example, the analyst might frame survey questions in such a way that all answers support a particular point of view.  Interpretation of information can also hold a bias. Two analysts can review the same data, but select different aspects of the data to support each of their individual preferred outcomes. Because people tend to remember information that reinforces the way they already think, memory also plays a part in confirmation bias. This effect is called confirmatory memory or selective recall.

Confirmation bias can lead to data confabulation, the selective and possibly misleading use of data to support a decision that has already been made. To deal with and combat confirmation bias, it is important to be aware of its existence and the danger it poses. It is also important to actively seek out information that disagrees with a preexisting point of view, ask opposing or challenging questions and keep information channels open to consistently update current beliefs.

Learn more about confirmation bias:

This was last updated in February 2017

Continue Reading About confirmation bias

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

How do you overcome confirmation bias when faced with new challenging information?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

    Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol that provides authentication, privacy, and data integrity between two communicating ...

  • van Eck phreaking

    Van Eck phreaking is a form of electronic eavesdropping that reverse engineers the electromagnetic fields (EM fields) produced by...

  • zero-trust model (zero trust network)

    The zero trust model is a security model used by IT professionals that requires strict identity and device verification ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

SearchStorage

  • solid-state storage

    Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of computer storage media made from silicon microchips. SSS stores data electronically ...

  • persistent storage

    Persistent storage is any data storage device that retains data after power to that device is shut off. It is also sometimes ...

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is an information technology (IT) architecture in which data is processed at the storage device level to ...

Close