By Rex Hammock, CEO

Why do some people believe that wearing a mask during a global pandemic is ineffective? (Before you read on, let me disclose that I’m a mask-wearer who follows the recommendations of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).) Why doesn’t a mountain of scientific evidence convince people that smoking is harmful? Why do recommendations from the American Heart Association about weekly exercise not faze people, or why do guidelines from the CDC not convince parents of the necessity of vaccinations? Why do people still text while driving?

The answer to each of these questions is confirmation bias, which is the tendency to pay more attention to evidence that supports what you already believe. It’s a well-documented and common human failing that causes “rational people to buy into conspiracy theories.”