Eliminating Bias

In: Business and Management

Submitted By va26208
Words 1378
Pages 6
Eliminating Bias People make decisions everyday in favor of one group, and to the detriment of others, without even realizing it. This prejudice or favoritism is bias. Biases affect not only our judgment but also our behavior, beliefs, and perception. Biases are selective, learned, culturally determined and can be inaccurate. Biased thinking leads to misunderstanding, wrong decisions, and to costly consequences. Bias can prove very destructive and is the foundation of stereotypes, prejudice and, ultimately, discrimination. A stereotype is an exaggerated belief, image or distorted truth about a person or group — a generalization that allows for little or no individual differences or social variation. A prejudice is an opinion, prejudgment or attitude about a group or its individual members. Prejudices are often accompanied by ignorance, fear or hatred. Prejudice begins with attachment to a close circle of acquaintances or an "in-group" such as a family and is often aimed at "out-groups." Discrimination is behavior that treats people unequally because of their group memberships and often begins with negative stereotypes and prejudices. Once learned, stereotypes and prejudices resist change, even when evidence fails to support them or points to the contrary. (Willoughby, 2007) When I think of bias I think of blatant ways that it manifests itself, but bias can be so subtle that it is hidden and hard to spot. If I change my conscious attitudes and beliefs this may indirectly change my hidden attitudes and beliefs. If I become aware of my hidden biases, I can suppress and attempt to eliminate those hidden attitudes and beliefs before they become behaviors. The Harvard Implicit Association Tests (IATs) are Hidden Bias Tests that measure unconscious, or automatic, biases. These tests can help us start thinking about hidden biases:…...

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