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What is confirmation bias?

Perhaps the better question is why do people drink and drive or text and drive? People may give many answers to why they knowingly put their life and the lives of others at risk, but a big part of the reason people still do these dangerous things is due to confirmation bias. 

Confirmation bias happens when we see, read, hear or experience something that confirms what we already believe to be true. 

Why confirmation bias is a problem

When it comes to dangerous habits on the road confirmation bias is an issue. If someone drinks a couple of martinis and then drives home and makes it safely, they believe that they are fine to have a couple, or even a few drinks, and drive. 

The same is true of texting and driving. If someone regularly texts while driving and they do not get in an accident, then they believe that they are driving just as safe when then text as when they are not.

However, numerous studies, including those noted in a 2012 Psychology Today article, have shown that those who use cell phone while driving "are four times more likely to be involved in a crash." 

Why do we have confirmation bias?

There is a reason our minds work the way they do: To keep us alive as long as possible. To stay alive we often have to make split- second decisions. According to a November, 2018 article in VeryWellMind  it may be that cognitive bias is adaptive and stems from the mind's attempt to allow us to make decisions faster, based on information already gathered. 

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