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Belief Bias: Definition, Examples and Effects

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Belief bias is a cognitive bias that occurs when people make decisions or evaluate arguments based on their existing beliefs rather than on the evidence presented. This bias leads people to overestimate the quality of arguments for conclusions they agree with and underestimate the quality of arguments for conclusions they disagree with. This bias can lead to poor decision-making and can have a significant impact on our lives.


Examples: Belief bias can be seen in many aspects of life. For example, when people are presented with scientific evidence that contradicts their existing beliefs, they may be more likely to reject the evidence and cling to their existing beliefs. Similarly, when people are presented with evidence that confirms their existing beliefs, they may be more likely to accept the evidence without question.


Effects: Belief bias can have a significant impact on our lives. It can lead to poor decision-making, as people are more likely to make decisions based on their existing beliefs rather than on the evidence presented. It can also lead to confirmation bias, where people are more likely to seek out information that confirms their existing beliefs and ignore information that contradicts them. This can lead to a distorted view of reality and can prevent people from making informed decisions.


Do you want to expand your knowledge on this topic? Read our full in-depth article on cognitive biases.


Do you have extra 15 minutes today? Take our fun and interactive quiz to learn which of 16 reasoning styles you use, your overall level of rationality, and what you can do now to improve your rationality skills.

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