A biased story

Back in 1954, was published one of the firsts studies about the confirmation bias—a tendency to believe what you want to believe. In this study, they analyzed the reactions of people from a football match between Princeton versus Dartmouth in 1951, where it got pretty violent.
Supporters of each team blamed the opposite one. Then, some psychologist started to analyze the different versions of the event asking students from Princeton and Dartmouth—who hadn’t watched the match—to watch it and point out which team was guilty on every infraction. And here is the interesting thing: when they asked them about the Dartmouth’s team, students from Dartmouth remarked their team was only guilty on 4.3 infractions versus Princeton’s students who blamed them on 9.8 infractions.
It doesn’t matter who was responsible of each infraction. What matters was that they saw what they wanted to see.
Who’s the most vulnerable to the confirmation bias? Who has invested so much time in something to truly believe it? Experts.
Change usually comes from outsiders. Experts are the most vulnerable because have invested so much time in their fields, so it’s easy for them to get stuck in their own thoughts. That’s why companies when they need a different approach, call an outsider, to bring a different point view.
You want to believe your own hypothesis. You want to prove yourself that your customers do things because of this or that. But that won’t get you any closer to make the change you seek to make. You’re just proving yourself something you want to be proved. Instead, try to think on a problem as an outsider would do.
Steve Ballmer once said, “Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.” He clearly saw what he wanted to see. Definitely he was deeply biased in his own story, missing a decade of leadership.
Confirmation bias is a tendency to believe things that confirms our own story. The story people tell themselves that they want to be true. In fact, people rarely believe other’s story. But people always believe the story they tell themselves.