What is Confirmation Bias?

How Does Confirmation Bias Apply to Marketing?

Also Known As: Confirmatory Bias, Myside Bias, and Observational Selection


Confirmation bias is a bias to search for, interpret, and favor information that confirms one’s current beliefs or hypotheses.

Confirmation Bias Examples:

Testing The Hypothesis: Sometimes, not-so-smart marketers run tests to prove what they believe should work. This is okay. But if they do not continue testing, all they are doing is confirming what they already agree with. What’s the problem with that? Often there are many unseen problems.

Could you be spending time on projects with a higher ROI? Could you use half of the emails and get double the results? You won’t know unless you test it.

Polarizing Opinions. People want to believe in you, in your product, and in your company. An easy way to do this is to create an experience that fits their perception. In 2001, Frederic Brochet tricked more than 50 university students who majored in the art of wine tasting, to believe a white wine was a red wine. How did he do this? Simply by adding red dye to a white wine.

Testimonials. You want to be right. But sometimes, other thoughts can make you question your beliefs. The same is true with your customers. If you want to help them confirm what they already believe to be true, you can use a testimonial that helps prove a claim.

See Also: Anchoring, Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon/The Frequency Illusion, Cherry-Picking Fallacy, False Optimism, Self-Deception, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy/Self-Fulfilling Bias, Willful Ignorance/Willful Blindness, Selection Bias, Conformity Bias, Perseverance Effect, Overconfidence Bias

Henry Foster

Henry Foster is a digital marketer from Boston, making money for B2B companies by generating leads via paid search and social.

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