What do you call a person who only takes advice which agrees with what they initially want?

For instance, John Doe needs to lose some weight to get healthy, but loves sweets so you advise John on eating healthy, but John ignores your advice and agrees with several friends who tell him to go on the doughnut diet.

John ignored the advice because he doesn't like eating healthy and went with the doughnut diet because it agrees with his point and it is convenient to him.

I know there is a word for a person who only takes advice that suits them, but it escapes me.

1 Answer 1


Such a person is essentially close-minded (everyone is open to ideas similar to their own), and is guilty of what scientists call the confirmation bias.

Merriam-Webster defines close-minded as:

closed–minded adjective

Definition of CLOSED-MINDED : obstinately resistant to argument or to unfamiliar or unwelcome ideas

According to the Skeptic's Dictionary, confirmation bias is:

confirmation bias

"It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives." --Francis Bacon

Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one's beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one's beliefs. For example, if you believe that during a full moon there is an increase in admissions to the emergency room where you work, you will take notice of admissions during a full moon, but be inattentive to the moon when admissions occur during other nights of the month. A tendency to do this over time unjustifiably strengthens your belief in the relationship between the full moon and accidents and other lunar effects.

  • Thank you! Confirmation Bias is what I recall now. I really appreciate it.
    – Andy
    Jul 27, 2015 at 18:02
  • I've always thought it was "closed-minded", not "close-minded", and MW seems to agree. So it would be great if you changed your two mentions of "close-minded" :) Jul 30, 2015 at 12:43

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