What is Confirmation Bias?
Coined by psychologist Peter Wason, Confirmation Bias describes peoples’ tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and remember information that confirms their choices and beliefs. As author Harper Lee put it,
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
For example, when a customer decides to buy something, they are more open to information that confirms their purchase was high quality, healthy, a good value, or environmentally sustainable. Customers want to believe they’ve made the right choice, so communications that support that belief are well-received and better remembered.
How to apply Confirmation Bias to your experience
Confirmation bias can be applied to any phase of the customer journey. But the best time to apply it is after customers have made a decision or a purchase. That’s because Confirmation Bias can be used to create positive memories of an experience.
Why are post-purchase moments so powerful? It’s down to a behavioral science principle known as the Peak-end Rule. This rule states that people judge an experience based on how they felt at its peak and its end, not the average of every moment of the experience. When customers have better memories of an experience, they’re more likely to recommend and repeat it.
People judge an experience based on how they felt at its peak and its end, not the average of every moment of the experience.