The five most popular articles on this blog during 2018, apart from the home page, were all on fallacies:
- Fallacies of composition and division (9,187 views).
- Moral equivalence (6,376 views).
- False equivalence (4,281 views).
- Zero-sum fallacy (3,547 views).
- Perfect solution fallacy (3,229 views).
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Confirmation bias, also called myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses while giving disproportionately less attention to information that contradicts it. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.
People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).