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Confirmation bias describes a preference of individuals for information that confirms their existing expectations and beliefs. It has been widely studied in political contexts to explore the effects of citizens’ political attitudes on media use, political deliberation, and political participation. Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias that affects the way people deal with information in several aspects: It impacts how people decide which information they approach or avoid, how people process and interpret information, and how they recall it from memory.

In the 21st century, the concept is often used to explain the development of so-called echo chambers—that is, ideologically homogeneous (online) information environments that reinforce the belief systems of their users while suppressing contrary viewpoints. This entry gives an overview of confirmation biases ...

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