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102. Confirmation Bias: How Your Subconscious Beliefs Shape Your Experiences (A Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode)

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Today, we are going to be covering confirmation bias – I know this sounds like one of those concepts you probably think you “get” and that it might not be necessary to listen to…but believe it or not, that is actually your confirmation bias talking. This episode will help everyone understand just how much confirmation bias is impacting your life and business. I will give examples and tips throughout the episode.  In its most basic form, confirmation bias comes down to the brain’s desire to be correct and the subconscious filter deciding what gets through and stored…and what gets ignored. Because the subconscious is working from established, proven rules to make these choices, it is looking for stuff that fits those existing rules.  While the brain can look and find things that disagree with its perspective, that isn’t the natural tendency. The easiest thing to do – the most satisfying thing – is to look for items that confirm what you believe. That makes you feel safe. This is why two people can witness the same event and have completely different interpretations of what happened. You are seeking out different information and retaining different pieces to suit your brain’s needs. Some of these are ingrained in us genetically over thousands of years, but many of them are built over our lifetime. Confirmation bias doesn’t have to be a bad thing and it can very much work to your advantage in life and business. The flip side of the confirmation bias coin is knowing that your brain naturally does four things and so if you are selective about your goals and what you want to change in your life, you can set up your brain’s natural tendencies to align with them.

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Show Notes:

  • [00:57] This episode will help everyone understand just how much confirmation bias is impacting your life and business.
  • [03:10] The numberless scale (Shapa) we discussed in episode 101 that has the potential to change the way we think about health and wellness. It’s a super cool product and you should definitely check it out.
  • [04:28] In its most basic form, confirmation bias comes down to our brains’ desire to be correct and the subconscious filter deciding what gets through and stored…and what gets ignored.
  • [06:57] You could see the exact same event as someone else and have a completely different interpretation based on your existing beliefs and confirmation bias.
  • [08:19] Confirmation bias is especially ramped up and more prevalent in circumstances that are tied with emotions.
  • [08:39] Melina shares the four main ways you see confirmation bias.  
  • [09:44] Kids’ behavior does not get more hyperactive when they have sugar.
  • [12:19] You will seek out information that supports your belief, and be more likely to believe, remember and share those items that support your belief.
  • [15:06] This reinforcing tendency is because of illusory correlation, which is when we overestimate the relationship between two items even when no relationship exists or it is very weakly associated.
  • [16:53] We humans are pretty bad listeners by nature because our brains are processing so much information at any given time.
  • [18:21] For many people in business, if you aren’t confident in your offers or pricing, you may end up recommending something smaller than they would actually want or need because it feels better for you in the moment.
  • [19:49] It is important to not start the conversation with a predetermined recommendation before they have had a chance to tell you about their situation.
  • [23:29] If you can convince your brain that it IS worth it and that the price is reasonable, they will be more likely to hear it that way.
  • [24:39] Look at where you may be biased in a way you don’t want to be, and try to be more open minded.
  • [25:43] If you are selective about your goals and what you want to change in your life, you can set up your brain’s natural tendencies to align with them.
  • [26:15] If you want to set up a new belief (and only pick one at a time until it becomes a habit) then you can eventually reinforce it until you naturally confirm it all the time.
  • [27:18] Eventually, I changed that confirming bias and pushed past that belief and started to think of myself as a runner.
  • [28:20] People who have been injured will often see themselves as a victim, especially while dealing with the legal stuff.
  • [30:12] Being able to run and train up for my half marathon is very important to me, and picking new beliefs that I want to confirm are central to that success.
  • [31:27] Athletes, actors, really successful business people all use visualization techniques and affirmations to help them reach their goals.
  • [33:18] Next week, in episode 103 I am doing an episode dedicated to rethinking your opt-ins and lead magnets during coronavirus and beyond.
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