Benjamin Franklin… Adolf Hitler… what’s the difference?

Confirmation Bias: a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.

Let’s say you run a conservative, Republican-supporting, Tea Party Facebook page. You come across a great quote image about how bad secularism is and how good religion is… so you decide to share it with your Facebook followers. Take THAT liberals!


The problem with the above quote is that it isn’t one of our Founding Fathers. The conservative, Republican, Tea Party, etc. person who posted this loved it because it confirmed their bias. After all, the Founding Fathers loved religion, right? …. Right? 

This is a case of confirmation bias. The person who posted this image liked the theocratic ideals contained therein and they also like the Founding Fathers (as a concept, at least) and so they didn’t question the content. They passed it along, probably without thinking about it.

To make matters worse, when challenged on their Facebook page about the origin of the quote and the misrepresentation of Benjamin Franklin, their response wasn’t to apologize and take the image down. Seriously, every one of us has fallen victim to this as some point. Making the error isn’t truly the problem, but responding to the error is far more important.

Instead of apologizing, taking the photo down and posting something new warning folks about the previous bad post… their response was simply to throw up their hands and tell their readers that it was their responsibility to check the origin of the quote before passing it on.


Want to know who ACTUALLY said that quote?