Confirmation bias and Predictive Brain theory

Confirmation bias is a facilitation the brain uses to optimize its “computing efficiency”. We screen for the information that confirms our views and ignore the one that contradicts them. We then tend to notice more the first type of information and see the latter one (contradicting) as unimportant, and hence often ignore it. That’s how stereotypes persist even when they are not true.

The predictive brain is a theory that suggests that whatever you consciously see in this world is not what is coming through your eyes. It first gets processed by the brain, which tries to “predict” or guess what the information is. It screens all the stored memories and past brain models to find the one which fits the most to what it sees at the moment and then passes this information to your consciousness. As such, you form an opinion before you can logically assess the situation and make a more informed judgment. 

When a clash of stereotypes happens, your brain can’t connect the dots. What often results in aggression as a defence mechanism against novelty. For example, when a woman behaves in a way which we stereotypically assign to men, such as being assertive, she may be called “bossy”, with negative connotations assign to this word. Men, on the other hand, are rarely described using this word when they are assertive because it fits the stereotype developed by social learning.    

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