Influence Effectiveness and Confirmation Bias

People believe what they want to believe, and faced with new evidence they will favor information that supports their existing beliefs and ignore disconfirming information.  This psychological phenomenon is not restricted to certain people or groups; it applies to everyone all the time—left or right, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, pro life or pro choice, it doesn’t matter.  I would hesitate to say that we are all “guilty” of confirmation bias.  I don’t think guilt has anything to do with it. 

Confirmation bias is simply a fact of life.  It’s how we think.  It’s how we engage with ideas.  A substantial amount of research has shown that we judge others based on how much their ideas corroborate our beliefs.  We are more likely to consider people experts on global warming, for instance, if what they say supports what we already believe to be true about global warming. 

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About Terry R. Bacon

Terry R. Bacon

I am retired but still actively working on my websites.  I have recently completed a novel called Storm Warning and am working through the process of getting it published.  While that is happening, I am at work on my next novel.

I was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1947 and grew up in Missouri and Iowa. I graduated from Treynor High School (in southwestern Iowa) in 1965 and did my undergraduate work at the United States Military Academy at West Point. I was in Company E2 and graduated with a BS in General Engineering in 1969. Shortly thereafter, I spent a year in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division and then several more years as a military intelligence officer. I left the Army in 1974 and went to The American University, Washington, DC, where I received a PhD in Literary Studies in 1977.

I moved to Utah after graduation, taught briefly as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah, and then joined a consulting company, Shipley Associates, where I became the vice president of research and development. I created a number of corporate education programs while at Shipley and co-authored, with Larry Freeman, the Shipley Associates Style Guide, which was published by John P. Wiley & Sons. In 1989, I left Shipley and founded Lore.

Besides providing leadership at Lore and doing considerable client work, I developed dozens of executive education programs and authored or co-authored the books featured on this site. I also continued my own education by studying strategic planning at the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania), sales management at the University of Chicago, leadership at Stanford University, psychology at Goddard College, and leading professional services firms at the Harvard Business School.

For nineteen years, I was the president and CEO of Lore International Institute, which I founded on July 1, 1989. Lore was a professional and executive development consulting firm that focused on the assessment, education, and coaching of professionals, managers, and executives around the world. As Lore grew, we formed a sister company in Europe and eventually had a global network of more than 300 faculty and coaches to serve primarily Fortune 500-type clients. In 2008, Lore was acquired by Korn/Ferry and is now part of one of the world’s largest talent management firms.

I have been active on the boards of a number of nonprofits, including the Women’s Resource Center in Durango, Colorado; the advisory board of the Durango Arts Center; the advisory board of Friends of the Fort Lewis College Theatre; the board of Music in the Mountains (where I served as president for two years); and the Fort Lewis College Foundation Board (where I served as chairman for three years).  I am currently president of the board of the Durango STEAM Park, whose mission is to build a Science, Theatre, Education, Arts, and Music cultural park in the City of Durango.

In 2011, Amacom Books published two of my books:  Elements of Influence: The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead, appeared in July 2011.  It is a companion to The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence, which appeared in January 2011. Together, these books present nearly two decades of research on power and influence.  Both of these books have been translated into Chinese, and Elements of Influence is now being translated into Estonian.

In 2012, Nicholas Brealey published my latest book (coauthored with Dr. Laurie Voss):  the 2nd edition of Adaptive Coaching, which initially appeared in 2003.

 

Inside Elements of Influence

  • Part I: Getting Others to Follow Your Lead
  • Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Influence
  • Chapter 2: The Ways and Means of Influence
  • Part II: Ethical Influence Techniques
  • Chapter 3: Let Me Explain
  • Chapter 4: Believe Me
  • Chapter 5: Finding Common Ground
  • Chapter 6: What Do You Think?
  • Chapter 7: Finding Inspiration
  • Chapter 8: Increasing Your Impact
  • Part III: The Dark Side of Influence
  • Chapter 9: I Would Prefer Not To
  • Chapter 10: There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute
  • Chapter 11: Winning Through Intimidation
  • Chapter 12: Making an Offer They Can't Refuse

Inside The Elements of Power

  • Part I: Sources of Personal Power
  • Chapter 1: Shakespeare Ate Bacon
  • Chapter 2: Mr. Obama Goes to Washington
  • Chapter 3: People Are Strange
  • Chapter 4: You Like Me! You Really Like Me!
  • Chapter 5: A Diamond Scratching Every Other Stone
  • Part II: Sources of Organizational Power
  • Chapter 6: Hail to the Chief
  • Chapter 7: Information Wants to Be Free
  • Chapter 8: It's Who You Know
  • Chapter 9: The Tree and Its Shadow
  • Chapter 10: Organized Rivalry in the Monster's Den
  • Part III: The Will to Power
  • Chapter 11: First Steps Down New Roads
  • Chapter 12: Increasing Your Voltage

How to contact me

Email: terry@terryrbacon.com
Websites: www.terryrbacon.com, www.theelementsofpower.com

You can also find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter

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