Confirmation Bias: The tendency to gather evidence that confirms preexisting expectations, typically by emphasizing or pursuing supporting evidence while dismissing or failing to seek contradictory evidence. (Source: APA Dictionary of Psychology)

Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias that impacts everyone: our sources, our audiences, and ourselves, the journalists. If we want readers, listeners, and viewers to not dismiss coverage of a controversial issue because it doesn’t fit or harmonize with their pre-existing narrative, it is essential to find ways to counter confirmation bias in reporting.

"How do you know if a statement is true? If it is strongly linked by logic or association to other beliefs or preferences you hold, or comes from a source you trust and like, you will feel a sense of cognitive ease."

Daniel Kahneman headshot
Daniel Kahneman
Thinking Fast and Slow