Synthese 199 (1-2):2757-2772 (2020)

Matthias Michel
New York University
Having a confirmation bias sometimes leads us to hold inaccurate beliefs. So, the puzzle goes: why do we have it? According to the influential argumentative theory of reasoning, confirmation bias emerges because the primary function of reason is not to form accurate beliefs, but to convince others that we’re right. A crucial prediction of the theory, then, is that confirmation bias should be found only in the reasoning domain. In this article, we argue that there is evidence that confirmation bias does exist outside the reasoning domain. This undermines the main evidential basis for the argumentative theory of reasoning. In presenting the relevant evidence, we explore why having such confirmation bias may not be maladaptive.
Keywords Confirmation bias  Myside bias  Cognition  Perception  Confidence
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02910-x
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References found in this work BETA

The Enigma of Reason.Dan Sperber & Hugo Mercier (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.

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