We’ve all been there with sports: One team claiming that the runner is out, the other swearing that he is safe, and a negative reaction from whichever side is ruled against. This sentiment is not based off of measured fact, knowledge, or careful observation, but rather off of emotion, groupthink, ego, and desire. Most agree that this isn’t an issue when dealing with games, but what happens when this same bias consumes the majority of the U.S. political climate?
Confirmation bias is one of the most prominent in the world: We all subconsciously filter objective facts through subjective interpretation in order to “confirm” the belief which we want to be true. This has led to many entering political arguments with no intention other than to prove why they are right and their opposition is wrong, sometimes without even realizing it. It is one of the most historically common logical fallacies in the world.
The saddest part? This willful ignorance takes place primarily due to ego. Most Americans hate to lose in general, and given the amount of emotion invested into political movements, it is no surprise the most enter the political atmosphere with the intention of “winning.” This points out the classic human flaw of thinking using emotion rather than logic, and is extremely dangerous when applied to complex political issues of great significance.
Confirmation bias continues to run rampant throughout America and constantly impedes progress. With so many being unwilling to change their views by default, the spectrum by which views may be altered given new evidence is severely limited. This ego-based line of rationale continues to be one of the easiest bias’s to weaponize as a tool of manipulation: Make it look one way, and viewers will believe it simply because it makes sense and they are satisfied with the outcome.
Contributed by J.M.