GEN 103 Ashford University Confirmation Bias & Importance to Researchers Discussion

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Discussion 1

Prepare: Retrieve the research topic that you settled on and the research question that you created for the Week 1 written assignment.

Watch these videos and listen to the podcast:

  • TED. (2016, August 8). Why you think you’re right—Even if you’re wrong (Links to an external site.) | Julia Galef [Video file]. Retrieved from
  • Gorbach, J. (2017, February 24). Cognitive dissonance confirmation bias (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from
  • Chatfield, T. (2017). Tom Chatfield on critical thinking and bias (D. Edmonds, Interviewer) [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://methods.sagepub.com/

Consider the concept of confirmation bias and how it affects the way we frame research questions and the information we search for and select, as well as how we present the information we find. Think about the assumptions we make every day and how those assumptions might be helpful and unhelpful when doing research.

Consider any assumptions you have about your research topic, how those assumptions could lead to confirmation bias, and how you could address that bias in your research.

Reflect on the information that you learned in preparing for this discussion and how it fits with information that you learned from the textbook and in previous classes about critical thinking and mindset.

Based on your learning in the Prepare and Reflect sections above, write at least three paragraphs fully addressing the following prompt. Be sure to cite any sources you use or refer to.

  • Explain what confirmation bias is, why it is important for researchers to be aware of it, and how its effects can be minimized.
  • Identify at least one bias you have that may affect your research question. Explain specific steps you can take to minimize the effect of that bias.
  • Discuss how learning about confirmation bias has contributed to your growth as a learner and researcher.

Your initial post must be at least 350 words and address all of the prompt’s elements.

You must cite and reference any sources that you use in your posts, including your textbook or any other sources of information you use. Please refer to the Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) and Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) for help with citing and referencing your sources.

Discussion 2

Prepare: Take a few minutes to think about the material that we’ve covered in this course so far.

Reflect: Reflect on what you found interesting, surprising, or confusing in this past week. What did you learn that caused you to understand an issue differently? What habits, tips, or resources did you discover that helped you to complete your course work more effectively or efficiently? Cite clear examples and details to support your post?

Write: This discussion forum is an opportunity for you to explore topics that interest you, share critical insights and questions that you are working with, share your struggles and triumphs, and discuss difficulties that may have arisen this week, hopefully finding solutions. Your posts should describe your experiences in the course this past week, prompting further discussion. You should address at least one of the following questions:What struck you in particular as you explored the course materials this week?

Write: This discussion forum is an opportunity for you to explore topics that interest you, share critical insights and questions that you are working with, share your struggles and triumphs, and discuss difficulties that may have arisen this week, hopefully finding solutions. Your posts should describe your experiences in the course this past week, prompting further discussion. You should address at least one of the following questions:What struck you in particular as you explored the course materials this week?

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