disconfirmation bias
n. The tendency to actively refute or discount evidence that challenges a belief.
In other words, when we think we're reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing. Or to use an analogy offered by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt: We may think we're being scientists, but we're actually being lawyers. Our "reasoning" is a means to a predetermined end — winning our "case" — and is shot through with biases. They include "confirmation bias," in which we give greater heed to evidence and arguments that bolster our beliefs, and "disconfirmation bias," in which we expend disproportionate energy trying to debunk or refute views and arguments that we find uncongenial.
—Chris Mooney, “The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science,” Mother Jones, April 18, 2011
Also relevant is "disconfirmation bias." This refers to the tendency to be critical of new information if it contradicts prior beliefs and, conversely, to accept information without much examination if it is consistent with prior beliefs.
—Sally Satel, “Tempest In A C-Cup,” Forbes, November 25, 2009
1989 (earliest)
Adherents to a scientific theory or perspective continually reconcile or absorb anomalous material into its basic tenets. This has been called "unfalsifiability" or "disconfirmation bias" by some, and this absorption defines, in many ways, a Kuhnian paradigm.
—Susan Leigh Star, “Regions of the Mind,” Stanford University Press, November 01, 1989
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