Studying the phenomenon of ‘confirmation bias’

Chris Thorpe
Chris Thorpe

It’s about our knee-jerk dismissal of the opposing viewpoint, about the way we choose to see only the evidence that proves we’re right, they say.

“Working with research into the phenomenon of confirmation bias, and a conversation with political extremism, Confirmation is an attempt to have an honourable dialogue, real and imagined, across that gulf,” says spokesman Chris Challis.

“Not to debate the viewpoints, but to find out how we come to believe what we believe, and how, from a common starting point, we can end up so far apart.

“Confirmation bias is an inherent tendency in people to favour and over-emphasise information that confirms their own beliefs, ignoring elements in any material, experience or situation that doesn’t confirm the views they already hold. The effect of confirmation bias is often stronger for emotionally-charged issues and for deeply-entrenched beliefs, and often results in ambiguous evidence being used to support existing positions. Some psychologists would argue that it is central to our view of ourselves and the world.”

Chris Thorpe is a writer and performer from Manchester. He is a founder member of Unlimited and also an artistic associate of Third Angel. Rachel Chavkin is a Brooklyn-based director and writer and the artistic director of collaborative ensemble the TEAM.

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