Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation ( or confirmatory ) prejudice is the inclination to specifically look for or give greater importance to information that is consistent with 1s prior beliefs. This kind of selective thought causes one to disregard or underestimate any alternate idea or belief irrespective of grounds otherwise.

An illustration of Confirmation bias-

A really existent manifestation of this inclination can be observed in the practical universe. For case, investors are progressively turning to message boards or practical communities to seek, clear up, and exchange information before doing investing determinations. The volume of treatment on such portals is so intense that it has become possible to feel stock sentiments from here. These message boards have been shown to supply more accurate and timely information than prognosiss by analysts.

The ground so many investors even turn to these on-line communities is to derive an indifferent rating of the market conditions, a third-party sentiment on something they might non hold comprehensive information about, and the 360 degree position of the state of affairs that can assist in explicating a successful investing scheme. What in bend happens is that psychological prejudices, particularly in such unsure and noisy environments, affect the processing of information through these portals taking to short-sighted or impaired determination devising.

It can be debated that investment-related message boards and communities do non needfully profit possible investors by assisting them make indifferent and informed determinations, chiefly because investors search for specific information on these portals that align with what they already believe. Therefore, the investor interprets the information as a verification of his earlier beliefs, taking to overconfidence and undue optimism in said scheme and may take to the investor doing roseola and irrational determinations. This may finally ensue in lower returns on investing.

Group behavior encouraging verification biases-

A theory suggested by Barber and Odean says that the semblance of control over the result of a opportunity event, the semblance of greater knowledge- assumed to be intuitive or insightful, and self-attribution prejudices are what cause investors to be extremely cocksure against better judgement. In the on-line universe, there is more than adequate information to travel around. Persons exhibit really strong sentiments about the stocks they are rooting for and backed with significant informations, their sentiments create the semblance of across-the-board cognition. Excess information is known to overcast judgement and cause investors to give greater weightage to subjective sentiments as compared to objective ratings by a disinterested entity.

Specific to online communities, the ground investors consider their peers’ sentiments of import is because these communities are formed when like-minded people with similar involvements come together for societal interactions. Hence investors are inclined to experience a bond towards the remainder of the subscribers on the forum.

Another account for this behaviour can be based on cognitive disagreement theory, due to which investors try to cut down disagreements between their anterior beliefs and the beliefs of the ‘group’ as they are perceived.

As per the cognitive disagreement theory, if any investor observes that the sentiment he held earlier mentioning to the group, is different from a batch of the thoughts shared on the group, he will seek to minimise disagreement by intentionally giving greater importance to those sentiments that match his beliefs and by over-scrutinizing and finally flinging any theories otherwise. Overall, it will look like all the sentiments that affair in the group, are precisely in line with what the investor had believed in the first topographic point. This defeats the full intent of seeking an nonsubjective overview of the state of affairs.

Features of verification prejudice and the investors prone to it-

Confirmation prejudice is shown to be relative to the strength of the investors’ belief in their chosen stock place. More the investor’s strong belief about his stock place, the greater is the motive to selectively treat widespread information to accommodate their demands.

These investors finally acquire overconfident of their ain competency while trading. This has been observed in such cases whereby investors trade often and in bend make errors frequently. Overall, they tend to hold lower returns on their investings.

Investors who are prone to verification prejudices are excessively optimistic about their planned hereafter and accordingly have higher outlooks from their investing public presentation. This optimism allows them to disregard ruddy herrings and make obvious errors in malice of holding anterior experience.

Factors impacting decision-making-

Perceived Knowledge- The investor may comprehend certain information as sufficient cognition to help decision-making. This perceived cognition may be a batch more than what the investor really knows. For illustration the investor may experience like he has penetrations and informations points, which are non excessively evident to everyone else, which support his determination to put in a stock. Hence every nay-sayer who theorizes otherwise can be safely ignored, since the investor believes that he has more information than they do. Someone with low perceived cognition would ne’er hold to confidence to fling another alternate sentiment so easy.

Trading Experience- It can be safely assumed that rawness contributes greatly to overconfidence. Person with old ages of investing experience will hold learnt the difficult manner about misreading market signals and will hold a more realistic position of their ain competency in trading. Person with comparatively less experience to travel by will be given to acquire swayed easy by popular sentiment and will be more likely to do roseola determinations based on sensed cognition. Thus certitude will be given to cut down with age and experience.

Investing amount- Harmonizing to the theory of cognitive disagreement, the magnitude of disagreement additions when the bets are high i.e. there are personal effects to the determination being made. If an single truly believes in a stock’s place and invests a immense sum of money in it, so he stands to lose a batch if the determination proves to be a error. Knowing this, he will subconsciously disregard any sentiments which deride his determination, therefore promoting a strong verification prejudice. Any sentiment that supports his determination automatically justifies the extent of his investing.


Investing public presentation is influenced by the frequence of trading, trading frequence and investing outlooks are affected by the individual’s verification prejudice, and the extent of verification prejudice is motivated by the strength of the individual’s beliefs about a stock.

When decision-makers procedure information, they tend to dismiss groundss that misalign with their original idea procedure, while stressing the 1s that confirm it. The persons attempt to cut down cognitive disagreement by falsifying available information in favour of the option they antecedently chose to postulate with. The demand for investors to cut down cognitive disagreement between perceived sentiments causes verification prejudice among investors while seeking information in treatment groups. They would overrate their preciseness with regard to determination devising and underestimate any spreads in information, and therefore be prone to inordinate trading and other investing errors.