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Here’s a quick summary: Hopefully, this article provides some useful guidance regarding confirmation bias and how to avoid it.We’ll probably never be able to convince your Uncle Fred to change his mind, but we just might be able to help you develop more effective learning programs.
Available at Over many years I have seen hundreds of examples of nursing curricula and syllabi that include outcomes related to critical thinking.
Such thinking is usually evaluated or measured by its presence in academic writing.
For example, if the conclusion is, “The sky is blue.” The brain will more easily and more vividly recall information that confirms that conclusion, such as gazing into the sky on a sunny day, over sitting inside on an overcast grey-sky day. Confirmation bias also relates to how our brains prioritize those two pieces of information.
Using the same example, if the intent was to decide if the conclusion was correct, rather than consider the two as equally relevant, the brain often prioritizes the confirmatory over the disconfirming information.
If we color code Bloom's taxonomy levels and add a layer at the bottom for opinion, and to simplify critical thinking use green for the grouping of analysis, synthesis and evaluation, and yellow for knowledge, understanding and application, and red for unsupported opinion, we might see: So for grouping convenience the yellow levels are called level I Bloom and the green levels, Level II.
Then it is an easy matter to go through each piece of academic writing and color code each sentence.Slightly disturbing, is that this is seen even if the confirming evidence is flimsy or yet the disconfirming evidence is rock-solid. In the grand scheme of things, confirmation bias often results from a lack of critical thinking.Learning and Development (L&D) professionals, in their desire to support and satisfy their internal clients, can fall into this trap. Assume a business unit (BU) leader has concluded that account managers don’t leverage all of their tools to analyze their business.It might be “anything goes” as far as you’re concerned! Perhaps it was a family reunion or just a group of friends.Have you ever been in a “lively debate” about some controversial topic?To satisfy the BU Leader, L&D might move forward with developing a solution to drive account managers’ analysis skills, which might be exactly what’s needed. The BU Leader may be prioritizing the single experience he or she witnessed in the field over back-end analytics that illustrate all tools are being used.If that is the case, then L&D would be wasting its time and resources, as well as valuable account manager time, on a program that isn’t really needed. L&D professionals can do several things to ensure that confirmation bias doesn’t infect learning programs.For example, if (Curtin, 2007) was used to support a statement, from inspection it can be seen that the Curtin article has a low level of evidence, so any claims, assertions, ideas or arguments made that were supported by Curtin's article would be evaluated accordingly.If we consider the essential dimensions of any piece of academic writing, be it a discussion post or a paper, there seem to be at least 4 vectors, whose resultant space contains the piece in Figure 2.When visiting the beta site, you will see the screen shown in Figure 3.Here you can see I selected multiple files, then clicked the Open button in my File Explorer.