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  • Writer's pictureEdward Riederich

The Danger of "Expectation Bias"

Spanair flight 5022 crashed in 2008 because of "expectation bias". The pilots confirmed the flaps were set when they weren't set. The pilots looked and confirmed they were set but they were never set at all. They were in essence "looking without seeing."

"Expectation bias" can lead to one interpreting results incorrectly that conforms to their hypothesis and overlook information that argues against it. It is a person expecting to hear what they want to hear rather than what actually may be occurring. 

Sometimes what we can expect to see we do not truly see

But we can imagine to see what we do not see

So in assuming to see what we expect to see we end up not seeing what we should truly see

And in seeing what we expect to see

It causes us to neglect to see 

What we should truly see

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