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Confirmation Bias: Gumberg Library

This guide contains informational media on the topic of confirmation bias.

Videos

This document contains a full transcript of the video "Confirmation Bias Part 1: Defining the Problem" in English.

This document contains a full transcript of the video "Confirmation Bias Part 2: Real World Applications" in English.

Use this handout to remember which questions you can ask yourself to minimize confirmation bias when doing research.

TED Talks

In this eleven-minute talk, Julia Galef uses a lesson in French history to show how different mindsets can lead to different understandings of the same problem.

In this nine-minute talk, Eli Pariser discusses how personalized searching and online algorithms may be causing people to have narrower worldviews.

More Resources

Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Elizabeth Kolbert takes a dive into new discoveries in psychology and sociology that show the limitations of the human mind.

This New York Times opinion piece reveals that confirmation bias might not be the whole picture when it comes to interpreting information.

Confirmation Bias: A Ubiquitous Phenomenon in Many Guises

Dr. Raymond S. Nickerson of Tufts University provides a detailed analysis of the way that confirmation bias is manifested in a variety of practical contexts.

Abstract: Confirmation bias, as the term is typically used in the psychological literature, connotes the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs, expectations, or a hypothesis in hand. The author reviews evidence of such a bias in a variety of guises and gives examples of its operation in several practical contexts. Possible explanations are considered, and the question of its utility or disutility is discussed.

This video, which is the 4th episode of the Crash Course Media Literacy video series, discusses how our brains handle media and how biases play into our understanding of information.

Ask a Librarian

Still have questions? Not sure if a source is biased? Need a second opinion? Stop by the reference desk in the Gumberg Library, start a chat in the box below, or check out this guide on other ways that you can talk to a librarian.