The more you want something to be true, the more you need to doubt whether or not it is.
That quote above comes from Phrost, the founder of Bullshido. It’s something he mentioned on episode 134 of BJJ Mental Models, and it’s a great way to describe confirmation bias:
Due to confirmation bias, we’re more likely to believe things that support our existing beliefs, and we’re more likely to discard things that contradict them.
Unfortunately, confirmation bias makes it hard to change our mind because we’re attracted to things that confirm what we already believe.
Being aware of confirmation bias is the first step toward defeating it. Whenever you hear evidence that supports your existing views, be suspicious and be especially critical.
Confirmation bias is a well-defined and well-understood topic, so check out the Wikipedia article if you’d like to learn more.