Confirmation Bias

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Confirmation Bias

Another risk that stems from both overconfidence and anchoring involves how we look at information. Too often we extrapolate our own beliefs without realizing it and engage in confirmation bias, or treating information that supports what we already believe, or want to believe, more favorably.

Things To Know

  • Confirmation bias: treating information that supports what we already believe, or want to believe, more favorably.

An example: our cars

For instance, if we’ve had luck owning Honda (HMC) cars, we will likely be more inclined to believe information that supports our own good experience owning them, rather than information to the contrary. If we’ve purchased a mutual fund concentrated in health-care stocks, we may overemphasize positive information about the sector and discount whatever negative news we hear about how these stocks are expected to perform.

Hindsight bias is related

Hindsight bias also plays off of overconfidence and anchoring behavior. This is the tendency to re-evaluate our past behavior surrounding an event or decision knowing the actual outcome. Our judgment of a previous decision becomes biased to accommodate the new information. For example, knowing the outcome of a stock’s performance, we may adjust our reasoning for purchasing it in the first place. This type of "knowledge updating" can keep us from viewing past decisions as objectively as we should.