Confirmation and Disconfirmation: Their Social Advantages

Jacques Philippe Leyens, Benoit Dardenne, Vincent Yzerbyt, Nathalie Scaillet, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we review theory and research on strategies of hypothesis testing. We propose that confirmation is the default option in information processing; however, and contrary to common belief, it is not necessarily a lazy strategy and can even have social advantages. Disconfirmation, on the other hand, may be spontaneous and effortless. We also propose that both strategies, confirmation and disconfirmation, can fulfill inclusionary or exclusionary goals. Finally, a last series of experiments illustrates how perceivers can create ingroup biases without resorting either to confirmation or to disconfirmation. In general, we offer a perspective on perceivers as very flexible gatherers and interpreters of information, who use diverse strategies to their functional advantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-230
Number of pages32
JournalEuropean Review of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


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