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Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one's beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one's beliefs. For example, if you believe that during a full moon there is an increase in admissions to the emergency room where you work, you will take notice of admissions during a full moon, but be inattentive to the moon when admissions occur during other nights of the month. A tendency to do this over time unjustifiably strengthens your belief in the relationship between the full moon and accidents and other lunar effects.

This tendency to give more attention and weight to data that support our beliefs than we do to contrary data is especially pernicious when our beliefs are little more than prejudices. If our beliefs are firmly established on solid evidence and valid confirmatory experiments, the tendency to give more attention and weight to data that fit with our beliefs should not lead us astray as a rule. Of course, if we become blinded to evidence truly refuting a favored hypothesis, we have crossed the line from reasonableness to closed-mindedness.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that people generally give an excessive amount of value to confirmatory information, that is, to positive or supportive data. The "most likely reason for the excessive influence of confirmatory information is that it is easier to deal with cognitively" (Gilovich 1993). It is much easier to see how a piece of data supports a position than it is to see how it might count against the position. Consider a typical ESP experiment or a seemingly clairvoyant dream: Successes are often unambiguous or data are easily massaged to count as successes, while negative instances require intellectual effort to even see them as negative or to consider them as significant. The tendency to give more attention and weight to the positive and the confirmatory has been shown to influence memory. When digging into our memories for data relevant to a position, we are more likely to recall data that confirms the position (ibid.).

Researchers are sometimes guilty of confirmation bias by setting up experiments or framing their data in ways that will tend to confirm their hypotheses. They compound the problem by proceeding in ways that avoid dealing with data that would contradict their hypotheses. For example, some parapsychologists used to engage in optional starting and stopping in their ESP research. Experimenters might avoid or reduce confirmation bias by collaborating in experimental design with colleagues who hold contrary hypotheses, as Richard Wiseman (skeptic) and Marilyn Schlitz (proponent) have done.* Individuals have to constantly remind themselves of this tendency and actively seek out data contrary to their beliefs. Since this is unnatural, it appears that the ordinary person is doomed to bias.

See also ad hoc hypothesis, backfire effect, cognitive dissonance, communal reinforcement, control study, motivated reasoning, selective thinking, and self-deception.

For examples of confirmation bias in action, see  "alternative" health practice, curse, ESP, intuitive, lunar effect, personology, plant perception, the Sokal hoax, therapeutic touch, and thought field therapy.

To see confirmation bias at work, review the conspiracy theories offered for the JFK assassination or the 9/11 conspiracy theories. It is a good lesson to observe how easily intelligent people can see intricate connections and patterns that support their viewpoint and how easily they can see the faults in viewpoints contrary to their own. As long as one ignores certain facts and accepts speculation as fact, one can prove just about anything to one's own satisfaction. It is much harder cognitively, but a requirement of good science, to try to falsify a pet hypothesis.

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Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one's beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one's beliefs. For example, if you believe that during a full moon there is an increase in admissions to the emergency room where you work, you will take notice of admissions during a full moon, but be inattentive to the moon when admissions occur during other nights of the month. A tendency to do this over time unjustifiably strengthens your belief in the relationship between the full moon and accidents and other lunar effects.

This tendency to give more attention and weight to data that support our beliefs than we do to contrary data is especially pernicious when our beliefs are little more than prejudices. If our beliefs are firmly established on solid evidence and valid confirmatory experiments, the tendency to give more attention and weight to data that fit with our beliefs should not lead us astray as a rule. Of course, if we become blinded to evidence truly refuting a favored hypothesis, we have crossed the line from reasonableness to closed-mindedness.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that people generally give an excessive amount of value to confirmatory information, that is, to positive or supportive data. The "most likely reason for the excessive influence of confirmatory information is that it is easier to deal with cognitively" (Gilovich 1993). It is much easier to see how a piece of data supports a position than it is to see how it might count against the position. Consider a typical ESP experiment or a seemingly clairvoyant dream: Successes are often unambiguous or data are easily massaged to count as successes, while negative instances require intellectual effort to even see them as negative or to consider them as significant. The tendency to give more attention and weight to the positive and the confirmatory has been shown to influence memory. When digging into our memories for data relevant to a position, we are more likely to recall data that confirms the position (ibid.).

Researchers are sometimes guilty of confirmation bias by setting up experiments or framing their data in ways that will tend to confirm their hypotheses. They compound the problem by proceeding in ways that avoid dealing with data that would contradict their hypotheses. For example, some parapsychologists used to engage in optional starting and stopping in their ESP research. Experimenters might avoid or reduce confirmation bias by collaborating in experimental design with colleagues who hold contrary hypotheses, as Richard Wiseman (skeptic) and Marilyn Schlitz (proponent) have done.* Individuals have to constantly remind themselves of this tendency and actively seek out data contrary to their beliefs. Since this is unnatural, it appears that the ordinary person is doomed to bias.

See also ad hoc hypothesis, backfire effect, cognitive dissonance, communal reinforcement, control study, motivated reasoning, selective thinking, and self-deception.

For examples of confirmation bias in action, see  "alternative" health practice, curse, ESP, intuitive, lunar effect, personology, plant perception, the Sokal hoax, therapeutic touch, and thought field therapy.

To see confirmation bias at work, review the conspiracy theories offered for the JFK assassination or the 9/11 conspiracy theories. It is a good lesson to observe how easily intelligent people can see intricate connections and patterns that support their viewpoint and how easily they can see the faults in viewpoints contrary to their own. As long as one ignores certain facts and accepts speculation as fact, one can prove just about anything to one's own satisfaction. It is much harder cognitively, but a requirement of good science, to try to falsify a pet hypothesis.

A little psych 101. Nice.

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A little psych 101. Nice.

Hoooo boy! Been a few years hence, but that ain't nothin like any Psych 101 I remember, with the ids and superegos and such. More along the lines of a grad program Psy 620... kinda thing that requires some really deep thinkin, which always makes my head hurt so I try not to do it often.

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I know I'm biased. I don't care. I love the Falcons. Sam Baker is the best LT in the league...

I would rather think that way then say he is going to suck this year and we are doomed. Why would you even want to watch this season if your already declaring it a loss. Just no fun in that. Falcons are #1 every year to me until they prove other wise. If not every offseason would suck and no excitement for the upcoming season.

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I would rather think that way then say he is going to suck this year and we are doomed. Why would you even want to watch this season if your already declaring it a loss. Just no fun in that. Falcons are #1 every year to me until they prove other wise. If not every offseason would suck and no excitement for the upcoming season.

Amen brother!

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Amen brother!

No disrespect to any other posters, but if your always moping around about the team, players, coaches and GM that's gonna carry over into your everyday life. You don't have to be miserable. The past few years I have honestly believed this is the year and it gets me excited every year. I love the Falcons and can't wait to see them play every year. If they sucked every year like some what before I would just believe its the year they are going to turn around. Its just my way of being a fan and expressing my loyalty to the Falcons. To me every Falcons player is or can be the best.

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Also people talk about Smith, but think about before he got here. Is he Bill Belicheck no, but he's brought a winning team and stability. I'm mean MM and BVG was good for us at first when we were young and inexperienced. I think though we out grew the training wheels and MS and TD was ready to make changes even though they left on their own. Even TD has he done everything right, no but what GM does. He helped us bring in the Coaches and players that made us a winning team with stability. Did you guys choose Dorsey in the Draft? TD didn't, are you still tell yourself you suck as a GM? TDs percentage of picks still on the team and in the league is 1 of the highest. You don't win executive if the year twice for sucking. Can we upgrade players, coaches and GM sure, but while they are Falcons doing good and making the changes needed to bring home a SB I'm happy and excited. I don't mean you suck if your negative you have the right to criticize your team being a fan, but why go over board.

I'll shut up now that was my rant for the night and I feel better lol.

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at this point with three playoff losses and no playoff wins in 4 years, it doesn't matter. We either win a playoff game - or we don't.

rose-colored glasses or negative trolls no matter. Its time to put up or shut up.

Yeah I feel the same in a way since we've had success lately. Just left me wanting more, but you can say that about every team every year. There can only be 1 winner in the end every year out of 32 teams. So if you were a Pats fan would you say that?

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Hoooo boy! Been a few years hence, but that ain't nothin like any Psych 101 I remember, with the ids and superegos and such. More along the lines of a grad program Psy 620... kinda thing that requires some really deep thinkin, which always makes my head hurt so I try not to do it often.

Nah thats standard 101 stuff i took it 2 semesters ago.

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Yeah I feel the same in a way since we've had success lately. Just left me wanting more, but you can say that about every team every year. There can only be 1 winner in the end every year out of 32 teams. So if you were a Pats fan would you say that?

Pats fans go into a playoff game knowing they stand a chance. Us on the other hand? I won 5 stacks on the most recent debacle.

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Wait? We're not supposed to be biased towards our favourite team?

It's certainly better than the other option. Everyone has biases, and they work them into their opinions, whether they like it or not. However, some posters here are biased toward the teams that play us instead of being biased toward us. You will always make excuses for who you like, but if the ones you keep making excuses for, play against your team rather than are your team, then maybe you're having an identity crisis.

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When the season starts and the 1st K/O happens, I'm all in(die-hard) for the Falcons till the last game of the season.

In the off-season, I choose to be more critical of our players/drafts/FA, HC, and coordinators...its only right/fair.

I find fault in completely standing in one bias, either +/- (homer/troll) and saying your foremost interest is in the Falcons winning a SB.

JMHO.

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According to some posters!

Yea it is a sad state of affairs when being optimistic about this team is ridiculed on it's OFFICIAL message board.

Real fans should not let the whiners get to you. The whiners encompass about 5-6 really loud actual people and not that much more. Most of them are fans of others teams and are taking advantage of the fact this board has almost no moderation from Admins to run rampant and try and piss off real Falcons fans.

The other part of the whiners is former fans of the team that have literally gone nuts and created a million alt accounts to spam the board up, also taking advantage of the boards lack of moderation.

While it may SEEM like alot of people here hate the team it really is just a small circle of people that have mental issues, or are fans of other teams or just have no lives.

Edited by lucifersam597
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Yea it is a sad state of affairs when being optimistic about this team is ridiculed on it's OFFICIAL message board.

Real fans should not let the whiners get to you. The whiners encompass about 5-6 really loud actual people and not that much more. Most of them are fans of others teams and are taking advantage of the fact this board has almost no moderation from Admins to run rampant and try and piss off real Falcons fans.

The other part of the whiners is former fans of the team that have literally gone nuts and created a million alt accounts to spam the board up, also taking advantage of the boards lack of moderation.

While it may SEEM like alot of people here hate the team it really is just a small circle of people that have mental issues, or are fans of other teams or just have no lives.

Yeah I agree with this a lot, but there some also good posters that seem to always be negative. They seem to be real fans that's been around a while.

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