did my research

With the proliferation of mistrust in the media right now, I have started to see people say  one phrase a lot.  “I did my research.”

At first glance, I love it.  We need to be a more informed citizenship.  I love people that go out of their way to be educated on ANY issue…especially if they are about to tell me what they think!

But there’s one problem with that statement.  No they didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am generalizing here.  Sometimes they have.  But most of the time, they have not done research.  They have created confirmation bias.

You see, if you have really done research, you have read papers, blogs, and books from every side of an issue.  You have read studies.  You understand the statistics and the methods behind the studies.  You learned all you could about all you could on the issue (whatever that issue is) and THEN you form an opinion.

But that’s not what most people do.  They already have the opinion…and they work backwards.

Humans are amazing…and I love them.  But we think we make decisions logically, when we don’t.  We make decisions emotionally, then we use logic to rationalize them.  It’s okay.  We all do it.  This is not a moral judgement.  It’s just important to understand the difference.

Because when we already have an opinion, then we go out of our way to find “research” that backs it up, that is not research.

Whether we are talking about business, or politics, or masks or why the Ohio State Buckeyes is the best football team (not currently playing) in the country, we all have bias.  That’s okay.  That is why it’s important to be hard on your own opinions (rule #22).

We are all entitled to our own opinions.  We are not entitled to our own facts.

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing, a full service marketing agency located in Ohio.  Learn more about Hasseman Marketing here.  

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