THMG262 – Dealing with confirmation bias

Though we’ve eluded to being affected by this in the past, we confront our biases in this episode and give 5 tips and tricks to help you overcome this and be the best you can be.

Show Notes

7:00 What Is Confirmation Bias?

  • Let’s start by saying for whatever reason this is It seems to be an intricate part of our human psychology.
  • Human beings form an opinion or a view. Once this view is formed we tend to want to be correct about this view. Therefore we turn around and embrace only information that confirms to what our point of view is. And not only do we embrace information that confirms our point of view but we also outright will reject information that doesn’t, or come up with reasons and excuses as to why this piece of the puzzle doesn’t fit in with the rest.

8:00 How Does This Apply To Hazmat?

  •  We often talked about Hazmat as being a jigsaw puzzle. Every bit of information that we receive whether it’s from SDS sheets, meters, interviews, patient assessment, our own observations, are all parts of a jigsaw puzzle. if we were doing a jigsaw puzzle and we took a puzzle piece that clearly wasn’t connecting with the next puzzle piece we would naturally put it off to the side and realize that that puzzle piece didn’t fit into that puzzle. With confirmation bias, we attempt to jam the puzzle piece into a place where it doesn’t fit.
  • This leads us to literally become prisoners of our own assumptions which is really difficult in Hazmat because so often we’re constantly making assumptions and putting pieces of the puzzle together as information is coming in. We generally start to formulate a view or an opinion as human beings right off the bat. and there’s a certain challenge in the Hazmat Community to being able to figure it out. and it actually makes us feel good when we come across information that validates what it is that we believe.

10:25 Confirmation Basis When Dealing With A Meter

12:00 How Can We Avoid It?

  • There are a couple of different ways to go about fighting confirmation bias. One of the techniques is to use something called a ladder of inference. The ladder of inference is a thinking process that we go through anytime we make a decision. and one of the things confirmation bias does is it tends to let our minds jump these various steps or rungs on a ladder. By holding true to each step we can start to reduce The natural effect of wanting to believe things that support our point of view.

13:00 The Ladder Of Inference

18:00 Basic Questions To Ask Ourselves

  • Is this the right conclusion?
  • Is this a sound conclusion?
  • Why did i draw that conclusion?
  • Why have I chosen this course of action? 
  • Are there other actions i should have considered?
  • Why am I making these assumptions?
  • What beliefs lead to those actions? Where are they based on what i think i know or facts? 
  • What am i assuming and are they valid
  • Are they valid because i proved them right or couldn’t prove them wrong
  • Why do i think this is the right things to do
  • Is this based on all the facts
  • Were did my data come from?
  • Is my data complete?
  • Was it based on facts, evidence or assumption
  • Why do I believe this?

24:00 Recognize Assumptions From Facts

27:00 Gambler’s Fallacy

  • With the gambler’s fallacy, you expect past events to influence the future. A classic example is a coin toss. If you toss a coin and get heads seven times consecutively, you might assume that there’s a higher chance that you’ll toss tails the eighth time
  • This becomes dangerous when these assumptions are put into other information to form a logical outcome. Your input is flawed your output is bound to be flawed.

Thank you to our sponsor: First Line Technology, All Safe Industries and Hurst /Vetter

Register and enroll at THMG e-University here. Courses being added weekly! Our hazardous materials training manual is finally available on Amazon! Click here to get your copy.

Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. Thanks for listening and watching!

Don’t just get on the job, get into the job.

1 thought on “THMG262 – Dealing with confirmation bias”

  1. What I have found is that we become a much better listener when we can’t see, as human nature if we see something that doesn’t match what we are hearing then we quit listening. We as decision makers must remember that we only see one side listen to your people

Leave a Reply to David Horton Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

* indicates required