What is selective communication and how does it affect us?

It is normal that all human beings have different opinions regarding the same subject. After all, each head is a world. However, when we make the decision to believe or not some information, an arbitrary process of choice occurs; the selective communication or incomplete proof fallacy.

In cases where we find certain information that validates our particular beliefs, we are more likely to take that data as true. Instead, when the information we receive does not conform to our belief system it is easier for us to reject it immediately.

What is a cognitive bias?

These types of biases are very common on a day-to-day basis.

A cognitive bias is understood as a mental process that protects people's individual beliefs, despite the fact that these beliefs do not conform to real events. In other words, we say that there is cognitive bias when the subject is not able to access the truth because his mind gives him wrong reasoning.

In order for the bias to last over time, the person must accept as true the wrong hypothesis that his mind provides. A good example of this occurs in couple relationships, when one of the members is emotionally attached and is unable to see the defects in his partner (even if they are evident).

What is selective communication?

Selective communication is based mainly on the cognitive biases of people at the time of taking for granted the information to which they have access. In this sense, a subject with well-established religious beliefs could hardly consider valid a scientific argument that denies the existence of God.

Something similar happens with the information that people decide to share, the arbitrary selection process is the same. Information that doesn't fit our belief system it is not considered by us to be disclosed in any way.

In summary, this type of communication is characterized by the convenient choice of the data that we share with others. If we appeal to an example, we have the case of those with political militancy; when they talk about the party they belong to, they usually give their opinion in favor of everything, even when reality shows otherwise.

This style of communication occurs only when the topics of conversation are focused on excessively important aspects for those who have an opinion, we could say that they are sacred subjects. The main reason this happens is that the mind tries to protect people from an unpleasant reality.

No one would like to accept that their political party is actually not as good as its leaders say. As a consequence, some defense mechanisms of the unconscious are put in place to protect people's comfort and emotional "well-being"; This is when cognitive biases arise (distortions of reality).

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Examples of selective communication

Let's see some examples of this way of communication. The idea is that we can recognize these situations in our daily lives and be aware of biased communication of some people. Let's see it.

1. Political speeches

It does not matter if the political speeches come from a recognized leader or a sympathizer. Usually, when a person is talking about his political ideals he uses the information in a convenient way.

2. Issues relating to minorities

One of the topics in which cognitive biases are most often evidenced is in those referring to members of the different minorities that exist. For example, racial, linguistic, ethnic and gender. Ultimately, it is difficult to meet people who can be objective about these issues.

Interestingly, it is politicians who most employ minorities in their speeches. Evidently, they usually do so by selecting the information they communicate to achieve a higher level of popularity in people who belong to these sectors.

3. Sexual themes

The sexual themes are loaded with different points of view. Even among sexology experts there are opposing opinions that are blindly defended by those who propose them. Such is the case of exclusive or open sexual relations; it is a subjective issue which lends itself to a lot of selectivity in the information.

In which cases could selective communication affect us?

Sometimes this could lead to unnecessary arguments.

Our interpersonal relationships could be affected when selective communication becomes frequent in our conversation dynamics. In particular, when we believe we own absolute reason on a subject and we totally reject any opinion to the contrary. That is, we lose empathy.

Another way that cognitive biases in communication could affect our lives would be when we create them. Taking into account that our decisions are based on the information that we take for granted; this could be detrimental when making important choices in our life. For example, choosing who to vote for.

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How can this cognitive bias be avoided?

To avoid incurring in this maladaptive style of communication, it is essential to assume the possibility that our beliefs are not exactly as we think. This does not mean that we have lived deceived, but that we are able to understand that within the framework of our beliefs there are nuances.

When we could put aside the irrational belief that our vision is the only one that is worth, we can access a better conception of reality. In addition, we have no problem reporting the facts exactly as we have known them, without the need to omit information.

How to defend ideals correctly?

Once we have abandoned biases when communicating, we must incorporate new resources into our communication arsenal. To correctly defend the points of view It is necessary to understand that it is not necessary to agree on everything regarding an issue to defend it.

In this same order, we can promote an idea accepting that there are nuances and that not everything is perfect with our proposal. In conclusion, moving away from radical positions will keep us shielded against selective communication.

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