Why we can’t get along: Confirmation Bias

Why is it sometimes so hard for people to get along?

I don’t have all of the answers, but something I see again and again in my work is confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that confirms beliefs we already hold, and to disregard or even suppress information that conflicts with our beliefs. I explain it in the video above.

There are lots of examples. People tend to chose the news outlets and columnists whose worldview echoes their own. We’ve all heard of cases where the police fixed on a suspect and marshaled evidence for a conviction, only to later learn that someone else has confessed to the crime.

I see it happening in workplaces where one employee or manager comes to be seen as “the problem.” It is very hard for them to overcome the label.

How to escape confirmation bias? Suspend judgement. Keep an open mind, and consider accepting an olive branch if one is offered.