Essay Preview: Confirmation Bias
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What is Confirmation Bias?
Confirmation bias is a tendency of people to prefer information that reinforces a thought or believe that they have. People demonstrate this bias when they retain information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotional issues and for deeply rooted beliefs. (Science Daily)
Examples of Confirmation Bias
There are many everyday examples of people using confirmation bias behavior. A student doing research on only one side to an argument for a paper to confirm their thesis may fail to fully search the topic for information that is inconsistent with what they are writing about. Also a reporter who is writing an article on an important issue may only interview experts that support his or her view on the issue. Confirmation bias is also very common when consumers make a purchase. (Raymond, 1998)
Confirmation Bias in Retail
Personally, I have seen consumers with a confirmation bias plenty of times. Since I was sixteen, I have been working in retail. This has given me plenty of opportunities to observe confirmation bias in a consumers behavior. Recently, I had to deal with a customer who had strong beliefs about her knowledge on clothing quality.
A few months ago at my job, The Childrens Place in the North Shore Mall, I had a customer asking for a particular brand for childrens workout apparel. After I told her we did not carry the brand she was looking for, she was very upset. She was convinced that this brand had quality worth the extra money she spent, which was a lot. I offered her the option to just look at the clothing we offered, but it was not up to par with what she was used to getting. In the end, she bought the clothing from The Childrens Place because she desperately needed gym clothes for her daughter the following day.
After finishing the transaction, I was satisfied that I finalized the purchase and changed her biased view of only purchasing from this expensive brand. Not even a week later, the same woman came in to return everything she had bought. When I asked why she was making the return she simply said quality. She then pointed at the stitching on the yoga pants and said the threading was loose, when in fact it was perfectly fine; we never have complaints on how the yoga pants are made. Her daughter loved the fit, color, and style, but I could tell the woman was over examining the product to justify her reasoning for buying this expensive brand.
Effects of Confirmation Bias
There are many effects of confirmation bias. Primarily with this example, the woman was losing a lot of money. She was creating a fictional experience where clothing did not live up to the quality she expected. A pair of yoga pants at The