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Confirmation Bias

susanna calimaniBy Susanna Calimani*

If you stay on the surface of social interaction and do not get to know people too well, confirmation bias filters the information you do not want to admit or know, it reassures you that your colleagues think what you were expecting, and they are exactly the kind of persons you wanted to meet and have around you. Confirmation bias makes your life so much better. But there are two essential rules.
The first is that you should not talk too much with the same person, or ask too many questions or personal details, or -even more risky- try to share opinions about politics and real life. You need to stay on the surface.
For instance, if you try to establish social contact with a colleague do not talk about politics, and if he declares himself ‘truly satisfied with the current political configuration of Poland’, your first thought should be “Oh wow, it must be the case that I missed some piece of news and the far right wing is not in power anymore!”
And here comes the second rule, that is never, never to check the validity of your assumptions; so at least you will never find out that the extreme right wing is still in power, and it is supported by your colleague.
If you follow these two rules, confirmation bias will do the rest.

*Susanna Calimani is a wandering economist currently based in Frankfurt.