Confirmation bias 101 for oxygen-wasting k-pop fandoms

There are three categories of post that I make on the Kpopalypse blog.  The most common category these days are the posts I make here as drafts for Anti Kpop-Fangirl (an excellent blog that you should all read, if you don’t already, and I’m not just saying that because I write for them, as I was an avid reader before that was the case).  The second category are posts which are just for my radio listeners because they relate to what’s happening on my radio show.  The third category is “I just want to put this here so I can refer people to it later”, and this is one of those “third category” posts.  I’m sick of explaining how confirmation bias works to people over and over again on forums, blog comments etc – it’s boring to have to type the same shit out all the time for morons who don’t get it, and that seems to be most of you given how much confirmation bias completely plagues the k-pop fandom.  It’s much less time-consuming if I can just throw these people a link to a blog post.  The also-excellent blog Asian Junkie also had quite a good article about confirmation bias in k-pop but I like to explain things my own way, so here we go.  I realise that for those of you with a brain this is actually a really boring topic, so I’ll try not to make it too fucking dull for the people who would rather be reading about tits and ass by inserting some eye candy here and there.  Try not to get too distracted.

A film that’s worth your time generally speaking is “Pi – Faith In Chaos”, the debut film by Darren Aforonsky who also did the brilliant “Requiem For A Dream”.  The film “Pi” or “π” deals not with circles and diameters and shit but with a mathematician who is obsessed with the idea that the stock market isn’t random or controlled by semi-predictable market forces but has a system to it which can be predicted mathematically completely in the abstract.  Presumably he wants to get rich with this incredible secret once he uncovers it, but oddly the “I’m a lazy bum plus a greedy cunt” angle is never fully extrapolated in the film which instead uses the initial idea as a jumping off point to explore the psychological aspects of obsession.  This particular fascination that the main character has with a 216-digit number which he believes holds the key to the stock market is obviously fuckin’ stupid beyond belief, and in the following scene our protagonist talks to a much older and wiser mathematician who tries to drive into his thick skull this obvious truth, in the process explaining confirmation bias perfectly and saving me a ton of typing.

In other words, if you’re looking for X, you’ll find X, whether X truly exists in any significant way or not.

Of course, the above example of confirmation bias (by which I mean the video of the movie, not After School’s pole dancing skills) is fictional, so let’s look at another example, this time from the real world.  The clip you’re about to see is from the documentary “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” and it’s an excellent documentary which anyone with any interest in music should watch.  If you have no specific fondness for or interest in heavy metal you should especially make an effort to watch it, as the film is a highly entertaining beginner’s guide which does well to bust many of the stereotypes about the genre, while never pandering to controversy nor brushing aside the style’s uglier elements.  Those who are already metal fans on the other hand will enjoy the experience of watching their favourite music genre being taken seriously in the media for a change, but you probably won’t learn much that you didn’t already know.

Anyway, in the clip below, Dee Snider hands Tipper Gore’s “Parents Music Resource Centre” (or PMRC, a censorship organisation at least as creepy and misguided as Korea’s MOGEF) their own ass on a plate, exposing the confirmation bias at work beautifully.  I won’t ruin it for you by telling you exactly what happens.

It’s relevant because that’s pretty much how all k-pop controversies work.  Netizens make up their mind “I want to believe X” and then they go hunting around for things which reinforce their belief in X while mentally discarding any information that conflicts with X.  Never mind what the truth is, or anything.


Often X is a theory heavily coloured by their own personal experiences – which is why bullying and sex are two recurring themes, as most netizens are young people who are either bullies or bullying victims, or both, plus incredibly sexually frustrated.

I’m sure that the girls in this blog’s pictures will all thank you for remembering this information when their next controversy comes up.

Also, I vote that T-ara, IU, Ivy, Nickhun, Rain and Se7en all get together and do a “We Are The World” style cover of this song.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading… if you did actually do any.

2 thoughts on “Confirmation bias 101 for oxygen-wasting k-pop fandoms

  1. I’ve always had trouble with getting my head around Confirmation Bias, and I don’t doubt most other kpop fans will as well. The way I understand it is that its a tendency to accept information that supports your beliefs and a refusal to accept information that goes against your beliefs. For example, you could say that T-ARA are bullies whilst ignoring the videos of them getting on like a house on fire (As well as the fact that you have or never will meet a single member, both current and former, of T-ARA. Alternatively, you could say that T-ARA are best friends though gifs of Hwayoung giving Jiyeon a lap dance or the tweet of Hwayoung telling fans to stop whilst ignoring the tweets T-ARA sent to her and the times when they ignore her. Both Hwayoung and T-ARA have said on multiple occasions EXACTLY what happened and every time they do literally everybody completely ignores them because it says both theories are bullshit. And then of course you get the whole “idols acting fake” theory.
    The way I see it, is that confirmation bias is like a penis.
    It’s fun to play with,
    You can be proud to have one,
    But please don’t go waving it around out in public,
    And PLEASE don’t go shoving it down peoples throats.

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