Confirmation Bias

from disenchanted dictionary<blockquote><blockquote>Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for nonsmart reasons.

Michael Shermer, Sept. 2002 Scientific American</blockquote>When you believe something, you tend to prefer facts that confirm your belief, but ignore or rationalize anything that contradicts it. The smarter you are, the better you are at rationalizing whatever you want to believe.

Is there a way for a smart person to escape this self-made trap? Maybe. As a passing statement made in his controversial book On Aggression, Konrad Lorenz suggested that a scientist should begin each day by throwing out one of his pet theories.<blockquote>It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.</blockquote>The point seems to be that if you get used to giving up things you hold close to your heart, you won’t feel instantly compelled to resist something that’d pull the bad ones away.</blockquote>