Overcoming Confirmation Bias

In decision making, we always hope to bring our wisest, most objective self to the decision.

One particular danger is confirmation bias.  Confirmation bias is the phenomena when we interpret new evidence to mean that our existing beliefs are correct.  That dangerous tendency keeps us from learning. It yields poor decision making, so we must have some tools to overcome the bias.

What can you do about it:

  • Test your assumptions by asking disconfirming questions.
  • Force yourself to consider the opposite of your current assumptions.  Find someone that will play your devil’s advocate or purposely embody your own devil’s advocate.
  • Trust the averages in the statistics available to you.  Don’t assume that you will transcend averages. Example:  “If 80% of Mergers and Acquisitions fail to create shareholder value, then why would ours be different?”
  • First, perform low cost, low risk experiments to figure out what works. Then, you can go all in on your most promising path.  Fire bullets, then cannonballs- Great by Choice

Just my opinion.  What do you think?  Let me know in the comments.

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#DecisionMaking #Decisions

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