Confirmation bias

Ever heard of confirmation bias? Confirmation bias will result in people searching for, recalling, and favouring information that supports their hypothesis over that which does not. It can also impact the way information is interpreted, to support an existing position or belief. Through many years of complaints management and investigations work, I have regularly observed evidence of confirmation bias in conflict between staff, misconduct, safety breaches; in every type of matter that I investigate there is the capacity for confirmation bias to play a role. As an investigator, it is essential to be watchful for confirmation bias in our own practice. Investigators work with facts, however, we are still human. Humans like stories, and most investigators are curious types, looking to piece the story together in their minds and get a picture of the facts. The key to managing confirmation bias is to avoid test your evidence and identify your assumptions. Talk out your investigations with a trusted colleague, test your evidence and consider what the basis of your beliefs is!