Confirmation Bias

I quipped about this on Twitter earlier today, but wanted to mention it here as well: there’s an asinine amount of Apple Watch posts going around, ranging from X minutes with the Apple Watch, to three days with the Apple Watch.

I haven’t read most, and probably never will — I don’t think you should either. Outside of the handful of journalists which received the Apple Watch before the launch, there isn’t much stock to be put into what people are saying.

Why?

As I title the post: confirmation bias. Which Wikipedia helpfully reminds me is a form of cognitive bias. Essentially I think of it like this: you perceive what you want to perceive. Wikipedia explains it like this:

People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.

The bias is far more complex than this, but both my definition and Wikipedia’s gets us close enough to understanding the relevance to the Apple Watch.

That is, people that thought Apple Watch would be:

  • slow
  • laggy
  • have poor battery
  • too big
  • too small
  • too expensive
  • superfluous
  • etc

These people will only see those things in Apple Watch after limited use. Likewise, those that saw:

  • the future
  • a great product
  • super helpful tool
  • hotness
  • etc

They too will only see those things.

It’s the reason I try to take a couple weeks or more with products before posting a review. The reason why I take extra time with things I don’t like. I can’t know if it is confirmation bias at play until I spend enough time with something to wash those thoughts away. Until I think about it enough.

You don’t have to like, or hate, the Apple Watch, but you should make sure that your thinking and writing is accurate and not rushed out to grab the coveted page views. Length of time testing something matters: too little and the opinions usually mirror the reviewers first impressions, too long a time and there is a bias towards the comfort level with that thing (explains my love for the GORUCK GR1, right?). Look for the happy middle ground, usually between 1.5 months and 6 months.

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
2 minutes to read.


tl;dr

Take a breath, and write something when you know the facts.