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Confirmation bias

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The Confirmation Bias is when people only look for info that confirms what they already believe. They ignore other evidence that contradicts their beliefs. For example, even if a vegan running diet plan is just as good as a non-vegan one, someone who believes in non-vegan plans may ignore the evidence. It's like only seeing what you want to see.

Table of contents:
  1. How Can One Use the Confirmation Bias?
  2. Confirmation Bias example
    1. Take advantage of cliches and stereotypes
    2. Address pain points
    3. Use testimonials
    4. Personalized Recommendations:
    5. Limited Time Offers
    6. Social Proof
    7. Branding
    8. Framing

How Can One Use the Confirmation Bias?

The truth is we're suckers for believing what we want to believe. As marketers, it's much easier for us to roll with people's preconceived ideas than try to change them and this is the entire premise of using confirmation bias in marketing. Most decisions customers make are not backed by logical reasons but emotional reasons.

It's an incredibly powerful psychological characteristic we all share. But we have to remember we're just as susceptible as our target clients - especially when it comes to data and conversion optimisation.

As marketers, we are in a unique position to help inform our target audience's beliefs around our products and services and then supply the evidence that confirms those beliefs. It's why we believe that big brands are fancier than store brand generics. It's why even though studies prove that most vitamin supplements are useless, we still buy and take them.

Confirmation Bias example

Take advantage of cliches and stereotypes

In an ad run by Apple for their Ipad Pro, a copy stuck out '' Your next computer is not a computer '' leading people to believe that the Ipad pro can successfully replace your computer even though there is strong evidence that proves this copy is misleading, to say the least, but it works for them as people who purchase Apple products do so with a cult-like appeal.

Address pain points

People want to believe that there is a solution for their problem that's why they are drawn to arguments that promise them a feasible remedy for it. The closer you get to understand what your customers' pain point is, the more clearly you will be able to address these in your customer value proposition, and the more likely your customers are to select your company over a competitor. However, confirmation bias has another impact: customers are often not fully aware of their problem. By addressing their pain points, you can confirm unconscious fears, only to then present your suitable solution to a customer who is now receptive.

Use testimonials

You want to be right. But sometimes, other thoughts can make you question your beliefs. The same is true with your customers. If you want to help them confirm what they already believe to be true, you can use a testimonial that helps prove a claim.

Personalized Recommendations:

Online shopping platforms like Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to provide personalized recommendations to their users. By showing products that are similar to what the user has already purchased or viewed, the platform reinforces the user's existing beliefs about their preferences and choices, making them more likely to make a purchase.

Limited Time Offers

Limited time offers create a sense of urgency and scarcity, which can trigger the confirmation bias in customers. When a customer sees that a product is available for a limited time or in limited quantities, they may be more likely to believe that it is a valuable item, even if they had no prior interest in it.

Social Proof

Social proof refers to the idea that people are more likely to trust the opinions and behaviors of others in their social group. By displaying customer reviews and ratings on their website, companies can use social proof to confirm a customer's beliefs about the quality and value of their products.


Companies can use branding to create a sense of identity and community around their products. By using slogans, logos, and other branding elements that resonate with their target audience, companies can reinforce the customer's beliefs about their own identity and values, making them more likely to choose that brand over competitors.


The way information is presented can influence the customer's beliefs and decision-making. By framing information in a certain way, companies can confirm a customer's pre-existing beliefs and biases. For example, a company may present information about the benefits of their product, while downplaying or ignoring potential drawbacks, in order to confirm the customer's belief that the product is valuable.

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Example of hypothesis applied

  1. Based on customer feedback and research, we believe that highlighting personalized recommendations on the homepage (change) for returning customers (population) will cause them to make more purchases (impact).

  2. Based on data analysis, we believe that framing product information in a positive light (change) for customers with previous purchases (population) will increase their likelihood of leaving positive reviews (impact).

  3. Based on industry research, we believe that using social proof (change) by displaying customer ratings and reviews prominently on the product page (population) will increase customer trust and lead to more conversions (impact).


Would you like to go more in-depth? Here are our recommendations:

The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy by Richard Shotton Buy this book

Frequently Asked Questions

What is confirmation bias?

Confirmation bias is a cognitive bias that occurs when people tend to seek, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms their pre-existing belief

How does confirmation bias affect decision making?

It can cause individuals to ignore info that contradicts their beliefs & overemphasize or accept info that supports their beliefs.

Is confirmation bias a common phenomenon?

Yes, it's a common tendency that stems from the way our brains process information.

Can confirmation bias be reduced or eliminated?

It cannot be eliminated but can be reduced by being aware of it & seeking out contradictory info & diverse perspectives.

How can businesses use confirmation bias to their advantage?

By understanding target audience's beliefs & providing evidence that confirms those beliefs, e.g., testimonials, personalized recommendations, etc.

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