Confirmation bias: A psychological phenomenon that explains why people tend to seek out information that confirms their existing opinions and overlook or ignore information that refutes their beliefs….It affects perceptions and decision making in all aspects of our lives and can cause us to make less-than-optimal choices. Seeking out people and publications with different opinions than our own can help us overcome confirmation bias and make better-informed decisions.
Read more: Confirmation Bias Definition | Investopedia
Less than a year after most of the frozen yogurt shops around town went out of business, nearly a dozen shops have sprouted up that charge people money to paint on a canvas while drinking wine. They have punny names like Sauvignon Blank Canvas or alliterative names like Pinot & Palette, Beaujolais & Brushes, Grapes & Graffiti. (OK, I made up these names to illustrate how comical they are.)
Do these folks not have friends or family to tell them the honest truth, that it’s a bad idea to invest time and money on a venture with a low barrier to entry?
My guess is that these doomed proprietors, like most us, are guilty of confirmation bias. When I look in my own rear view mirror, I see cringeworthy wreckage, such as sticking with misguided relationships or buying homes that turned into money pits. At the time, my thought process had me convinced that I was making a smart decision. In fact, those around me were supportive – or politely faked support. But did they see the impending train wreck?
It was only after I tallied the wreckage in my life that I finally learned this life lesson: We must encourage those around us to provide brutally honest feedback, even if it hurts our feelings, and we need to integrate that feedback into our decision-making.
To get a taste of what brutally honest feedback looks like, I suggest seeking the opinions of others on popular community discussion forums such as Bogleheads.org (for advice on personal finance) or Loveshack.org (for advice on dating, marriage, affairs). The anonymity of these forums allow for the brutally honest feedback we all need to avoid regrettable mistakes. However, I hope you can find a wise advocate amongst your friends and family who will warn you of the impending train wrecks in your life.
Seek the truth – always.