Confirmation Bias in Visual Search

Jason Rajsic, Daryl Wilson, Jay Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


In a series of experiments, we investigated the ubiquity of confirmation bias in cognition by measuring whether visual selection is prioritized for information that would confirm a proposition about a visual display. We show that attention is preferentially deployed to stimuli matching a target template, even when alternate strategies would reduce the number of searches necessary. We argue that this effect is an involuntary consequence of goal-directed processing, and show that it can be reduced when ample time is provided to prepare for search. These results support the notion that capacity-limited cognitive processes contribute to the biased selection of information that characterizes confirmation bias.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1364
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


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