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Belief Confirmation/Perseverance: "Never Talk about Religion, Sex, or Politics"

Belief confirmation (or belief perseverance) is a kind of confirmation bias.

Let's look at how this works with people who have taken Never Talk about Religion, Sex, or Politics to heart (a saying that has some truth to it, but is also misunderstood by some to apply to literally all situations).

  1. Person A hears, "Never Talk about Religion, Sex, or Politics", gets a superficial understanding about what the phrase means, and decides to follow this advice.
  2. They avoid having conversations about religion, sex, and politics, and thus never having their views challenged, become fairly ignorant about all of these subjects.
  3. Any time they do catch themselves having a conversation about any of these subjects, they are ridiculed because of their myopia.
  4. Person A decides, "Ah hah! I feel terrible. What a fool I am! I knew I should have listened to the wise saying and avoided discussing these subjects!", thus their belief that it is wrong to ever discuss religion, sex, or politics gets re-affirmed and strengthened.

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