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The Neuroscience of Confirmation Bias


Dr. Beau Lotto




To ensure your survival, your brain evolved to avoid one thing: uncertainty. As neuroscientist Beau Lotto points out, if your ancestors wondered for too long whether that noise was a predator or not, you wouldn't be here right now.


Every behavior that we do, we do to reduce uncertainty. We do to increase certainty. When you go down below in a boat, and your eyes are moving and register your boat and your eyes are saying, Oh, we're standing still.

But your inner ears are saying, no, no, we're moving. And your brain cannot deal with that conflict. So it gets ill. The stress resulting from uncertainty is tremendous in our society, and it increases brain cell death, it decreases plasticity, it makes you a more extreme version of yourself. We do almost everything to avoid uncertainty.

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