# Zettelkasten helps counter confirmation bias
One of the recommended approach to writing is the top-down approach. This approach starts from a hypotheses, then continued by finding supporting references and data. Unfortunately, the top-down approach makes it too easy for us to neglect the need of disconfirming information, because the approach induces Confirmation bias. Even worse, when a disconfirming information is found, you may consider it as a threat to the success of your writing. You need disconfirming data and ideas to develop good arguments in your writing.
The best thinkers are not free from confirmation bias either. Although being aware of the problem helps you do something about it, you don’t really want to rely on your willpower. You want to embed a mechanism in your workflow to counter confirmation bias because Workflow trumps willpower. Zettelkasten embeds this mechanism so that your writing is done bottom-up.
Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (pp. 79-80).
The very moment we decide on a hypothesis, our brains automatically go into search mode, scanning our surroundings for supporting data, which is neither a good way to learn nor research. Worse, we are usually no even aware of this confirmation bias (or myside bias) that surreptitiously meddles with our life.
Even the best scientists and thinkers are not free from it. What sets them apart is the mere fact that they are aware of the problem and do something about it.
The linear process promoted by most study guides, which insanely starts with the decision on the hypothesis or the topic to write about, is a sure-fire way to let confirmation bias run rampant.