Prior Hypothesis Bias

Tendency to favor a prior hypothesis despite contradictory evidence.

This is a specific but noteworthy type of cognitive anchoring where a person favors an early hypothesis or explanation despite contradictory information. Most of us have experienced this, where a boss or co-worker provides an explanation, someone else furnishes proof that it cannot be true, yet the belief in the prior hypothesis remains unshaken.

We all have a tendency to anchor to the first explanation that comes to mind, and favor it when considering alternatives. It’s important to be mindful of common biases and fight them when we are making important decisions.