What is it about?

Part 1 described the major features and manifestations of confirmation bias and the threats to trustworthiness attributed to it. Part 2 describes and critiques three ways in which the threats from that bias have been dismissed. The dismissals considered - but rejected - are: (i) radical scepticism: the concept of ‘bias’ presupposes the possibility of validity/truth – a possibility scorned by radical sceptics, including in some versions of ‘post-modernism’; (ii) consequentialism: explicitly partisan enquiry is advocated – desired research impact trumps commitment to evidence gathering and/or analysis impartiality; and (iii) denial: confirmation bias is not a problem, at least for field-based research, as such research is said to have a built-in immunity against the bias.

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Why is it important?

The bias is widespread in academic, political arena, an everyday discourse and analysis.

Perspectives

I have a remarkable number of very positive comments about this article (and Part 1) from a wide range of disciplines.

Professor Brendan McSweeney
Royal Holloway University of London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Fooling ourselves and others: confirmation bias and the trustworthiness of qualitative research – Part 2 (cross-examining the dismissals), Journal of Organizational Change Management, August 2021, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/jocm-04-2021-0118.
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