Side-step the confirmation bias trap

IOSH Magazine

Confirmation bias can lead to accidents and safety failings. Yet everyone is susceptible to it, even experts. So what measures can organisations and OSH professionals put in place to help navigate the pitfalls?

Everyone is susceptible to confirmation bias. It’s not an ethical problem – people don’t deliberately seek out evidence that confirms their view – but a cognitive one. Dr Paige Williams, a positive psychology researcher at the University of Melbourne, says that the human brain looks to process information as easily as possible, and that biases provide a shortcut. She adds: ‘If you’re a human, and you’ve got a brain, you have bias.’

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