In psychology, the term “confirmation bias” identifies the tendency to give importance to information that confirms our point of view, minimising information that supports other points of view. We all like to be right and, possibly because of that, we all suffer from this bias. Moreover, in our day-to-day living, we often do not have time to explore all options, and, in the end, we chose to see only those that make our lives easier in the short run.
However, there are situations where this bias is served to us in a silver looking tray. In this case, the bias is not as much from the person who consumes it, as it is from the person serving it, that affected by ignorance or armed with bad intentions, presents it as the truth and nothing but the truth.
Here is an example: governments in certain countries have recently decided to make labour laws more flexible and layoffs easier to execute. Although this is probably a correct argument, they’ve left out of this discussion other factors without which it makes no sense to talk about flexibility, namely the fact that salaries also need to be adjusted to the cost of living, so that people can still be prepared to honour their agreements in the case of unemployment.
(Note: this post was initially published in Portuguese in http://www.150palavras.blogspot.com)