Psyched Out After Being Told Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

If Heike tends to trust her parents and her family for their closeness and similarities, then the confirmation bias could also come into play in this situation. This psychological bias tends to make people believe what they already believe, only stronger; any inkling that Heike has that she might be feeling depressed is now more likely to convince her that she truly is depressed, perhaps even chronically so. Because the information is coming to her from her parents, whom she is likely to trust, the information regarding her likelihood of developing chronic depression (false though it may be) will probably be believed and taken to heart. Even if she then comes across more accurate information that suggests a far lower familial incidence of chronic depression, lowering
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her actual chances of developing the condition, Heike will be likely to discount this information in favor of the preconceived notions she has already developed.

Belief perseverance is highly similar to the confirmation bias, and can be further exacerbated by the public knowledge of one's belief. This means that the parents, having shared this information with their daughter, will be less likely to want to change their opinions of the information even in the light of new evidence. This, in turn, makes it even more unlikely that Heike will allow herself to change her mind, and should discussions with her brother, parents, friends, or even a doctor lead to the admission of her suspicions that she is developing chronic depression, Heike could fairly easily convince herself that this is the case. Once publicly stated, altering this belief will be even harder.

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