Bias du Jour #11
In one study, researchers determined subjects’ beliefs about affirmative action and gun control. Then the researchers presented these subjects with a number of arguments for and counterarguments to their positions. The researchers found that “attitudinally congruent arguments” were evaluated as stronger than “attitudinally incongruent” arguments and that, when reading pro and con arguments, subjects argued against the contrary arguments and uncritically accepted the supporting arguments for their beliefs.
The Disconfirmation Bias: We tend to readily accept information confirming our beliefs but actively argue against information disconfirming them.
Cite:Taber, Charles S. & Lodge, Milton (2006). Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs. American Journal of Political Science 50 (3), 755-769.