Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Strong convictions can blind us to information that challenges them

News Release 27-May-2020
University College London

When people are highly confident in a decision, they take in information that confirms their decision, but fail to process information which contradicts it, finds a UCL brain imaging study.

The study, published in Nature Communications, helps to explain the neural processes that contribute to the confirmation bias entrenched in most people's thought processes.


"While psychologists have long known about this bias, the underlying mechanisms were not yet understood.

"Our study found that our brains become blind to contrary evidence when we are highly confident, which might explain why we don't change our minds in light of new information."


In a previous, related study, the research team had found that people who hold radical political views - at either end of the political spectrum - aren't as good as moderates at knowing when they're wrong, even about something unrelated to politics.


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