Examples of Confirmation Bias in Business and Ways to Combat Them

As analytical professionals, we are people’s people. We do our work because we care about people. We want to help them make the best decisions they can. To help people, we need to understand people. And people have cognitive biases. It goes the same for business. Today, let’s explore different examples of confirmation bias in business below and learn how you can be overcoming confirmation bias.

Examples of Confirmation Bias in Business

Examples of Confirmation Bias in Business

What are some of the examples of confirmation bias in business? Before anyting, let’s understand what confirmation bias in business is. Confirmation bias refers to the tendency to see data the way we want to see it. The concept of confirmation bias specifically assumes that we are most likely to believe what we think is already true. People see what they want to, usually. They tend to accept evidence that supports what they already think is true, and reject evidence that goes against it.

As analysts, we are after the truth. So, we should know how to fight these examples of confirmation bias in business.

But not head on. Because we will likely lose.

Here are some examples of confirmation bias in business.

You just worked hard to get some numbers that unfortunately tell you that the marketing department is doing a perfectly wretched job. No positive growth. Negative ROI. Terrible lead quality. They need to know! So you go to the marketing director and you say “if you keep doing what you are doing, you are going to burn down this entire company and sink the ship to the bottom of the Marianas trench.”

Confirmation Bias Examples in Business

When you share these information, they will fight you and tell you your data is wrong and your analysis is wrong and you will lose the war and then the company will burn down. That’s not how you should combat different examples of confirmation bias in business.

How to Avoid Examples of Confirmation Bias in Business?

How to Avoid Confirmation Bias Examples in Business

In overcoming confirmation bias examples in business, you need to get some confirmation bias on your side before you try to fly in the face of everything the marketing director holds dear. “Hello marketing director, I was looking at some numbers on one of our campaigns and I’d like to go over it with you.”

Marketing Director has less confirmation bias about how well a single campaign did than he or she does about how the entire department is doing. If you carefully show them the analysis, they just might believe you. And now you’ve planted a new, smaller bias in their minds – a bias that tells them, subtly, if one campaign didn’t do so well, maybe marketing isn’t as incredible as we thought.

In avoiding confirmation bias examples in business, take as many small steps as you need. Rally some bias to you side (which if you did your work right, is the true side). And when they have enough bias in favor of the truth, lay it all on the table. Doesn’t work every time. But it works much better than kicking in the door. Eventually, you will learn how to fix confirmation bias in business.

Now that you know how to combat these examples of confirmation bias in business, it is time to take your skills to the next level. Get our client-facing services and learn how to get better business insights today!