Confirming evidence trap- i KNEW it!

21 02 2009

It’s obvious really isn’t it? You can clearly see that the defender (in blue) has made contact with the ball and therefore, whether in or out of the box, it is a fair tackle.

It’s obvious really isn’t it? You can clearly see that the attacker (in red) has clearly been scythed down  inside the box and it must be therefore be a penalty.

It’s obvious really isn’t it?  Cristiano Ronaldo (in red) will go down like a sack of potatoes at the slightest gust of breeze. The man is a born cheat. That’s a fair tackle.

It’s obvious really isn’t it? Just because Cristiano Ronaldo has a reputation (justified or otherwise) for “going down” in the penalty box no-one ever believes that a tackle on him is unfair. That’s a penalty.

We seek data from the information presented to us, but, as in the ladder of inference, we must also be aware that subconsciously we seek out information that will confirm our beliefs and understandings about the world and at the same time ignore those that confound such views. This is the “confirming evidence” trap.

The reason for bringing this up here is that I am hoping to identify issues that may confound  the true view of information I gather for my thesis and also to highlight the risk of such behaviour in leadership and management.

It is essential that as information is gathered that evidence is sought from both sides of the debate and that equal rigour is applied in determining its veracity. One must accept that personally held views colour interpretation and be honest in our assessments potentially even seeking confirmation from alternate sources.

This does not necessarily mean our views are wrong, merely that we should seek evidence from all sides of the debate before making decisions.

Who would be a referee eh?




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