We all tend to circle ourselves with those people we love to agree with, and who agree with us, and as such, these people create our social network of who we tend to spend time with as a result of holding similar views, values and opinions. When we feel uncomfortable or insecure because someone or something challenges our view and opinions this behavior leads to confirmation bias. George Dvorsky defines confirmation bias in his blog as: ‘The often unconscious act of referencing only those perspectives that support any pre-existing views, yet concurrently ignoring or dismissing opinions — no matter how valid — that threaten our world view’. In doing this however, we are setting ourselves up for errors in judgement and potentially making crucial mistakes. The solution is to identify and recognize our bias and to take the time and ensure we get information from multiple sources, regardless if they support our thinking or not.
I have learned a tremendous lesson during the observation the current Presidential election in the U.S. When this topic came up in the course forum I decided to challenge my assumptions and predetermined opinion toward one of the candidates. I have taken the time to listen to and read from a variety of news resources and have had discussions with many people of differing opinions and I found it all to be very enlightening. I still feel I am of the same opinion however, I do feel it is an educated opinion and I am far more aware of the contributions this individual has made and the upsides that may be offered to the American People. Now, if I can apply this process to other areas of my life, I know I will be better equipped to make evidenced decisions on a go forward.