Saturday, February 13, 2010

Truth Bias

People tend to believe others. This phenomenon, referred to as the Truth Bias, allows society and commerce to run smoothly and efficiently. Absent the Truth Bias, people would spend an inordinate amount of time checking data collected from others. The Truth Bias also serves as a social default. Relationships with friends and business colleagues would become strained if their veracity were constantly questioned. Consequently, people typically believe others until evidence to the contrary surfaces. The Truth Bias provides liars with an advantage because people want to believe what they hear, see, or read. The Truth Bias diminishes when people become aware of the possibility of deception. The best defense against the Truth Bias is judicious skepticism.


  1. Good one Jack. We have so many biases yet this is the one I'm probably most often aware of.

    Do you have any suggestions for developing better "judicious skepticism?"

  2. In situations that count, you should heighten your awareness to the possibility of deception. Unfortunately, it would be mentally exhausting to keep your guard up all the time. Awareness to the possibility of deception reduces your susceptibility to the Truth Bias.