Prejudice and Bias Might Be Good, Sometimes

In: Other Topics

Submitted By monazhou
Words 1789
Pages 8
Prejudice and bias might be good, sometimes

When we think about prejudice and bias, we tend to think about stupid and evil people doing stupid and evil things. And this idea is nicely summarized by the British critic William Hazlitt, who wrote, “Prejudice is the child of ignorance.” But, I think this is mistaken. I want to try to convince you that prejudice and bias are natural, they’re often rational, and they’re often even moral. And I think that once we understand this, we’re in a better position to make sense of them when they go wrong, when they have horrible consequences, and we’re in a better position to know what to do when this happens. Start with stereotypes. You may look at me, you know my name, you know some certain facts about me, and you can make some certain judgments. You could make guesses about my ethnicity, me religious beliefs, my hobby. And the thing is, these judgments tend to be accurate. We’re very good at this sort of thing. And we’re very good at this sort of things because our ability to stereotype people is not some sort of arbitrary quirk of the mind, but rather it’s a specific instance of a more general process, which is that we have experience with things and people in the world that fall into categories, and we can use our experience to make generalizations about novel instances of these categories. So everybody has a lot of experience with chairs, apples and dogs. And based on this, when you see some unfamiliar examples, you could guess you could sit on that chair, you can eat that apple, the dog will bark. Now, we might be wrong. The chair could collapse if you sit on it, the apple might be poison, the dog might not bark. But for the most part, we’re good at this. For the most part, we make good guesses both in the social domain and the non-social domain, and if we weren’t able to do so--- if we weren’t able to make guesses…...

Similar Documents

Pride and Prejudice

...Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen Download free eBooks of classic literature, books and novels at Planet eBook. Subscribe to our free eBooks blog and email newsletter. Chapter 1 I t is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. ‘My dear Mr. Bennet,’ said his lady to him one day, ‘have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?’ Mr. Bennet replied that he had not. ‘But it is,’ returned she; ‘for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.’ Mr. Bennet made no answer. ‘Do you not want to know who has taken it?’ cried his wife impatiently. ‘YOU want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.’ This was invitation enough. ‘Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his Pride and Prejudice servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.’ ‘What is his name?’ ‘Bingley.’ ‘Is he married or single?’ ‘Oh! Single, my dear, to...

Words: 124620 - Pages: 499

Media Bias

... 2007, p. 1) module 1 Psychologists at Work What Is Psychology? The Subfields of Psychology: Psychology’s Family Tree Try It! Psychological Truths? Working at Psychology module 2 A Science Evolves: The Past, the Present, and the Future The Roots of Psychology Today’s Perspectives Psychology and Your Life Psychology’s Key Issues and Controversies module 3 The Scientific Method Psychological Research Descriptive Research Experimental Research Research in Psychology module 4 Research Challenges: Exploring the Process The Ethics of Research Exploring Diversity: Choosing Participants Who Represent the Scope of Human Behavior Should Animals Be Used in Research? Threats to Experimental Validity: Avoiding Experimental Bias Becoming an Informed Consumer of Psychology: Thinking Critically about Research Psychology on the Web The Case of . . . Confusion Full Circle: Introduction to Psychology Wesley Autrey’s extraordinarily brave behavior illustrates the best of human nature. It also gives rise to a host of intriguing questions. For example, • How did Autrey make the split-second decision to give aid to the man who fell onto the tracks? Would he have made the same decision if he had more time to think about it? • What physical and biological changes occurred when Autrey leapt onto the tracks? • What emotions did Autrey experience as the subway car hurtled by above him? • What memories will Autrey’s children have when they think back to the frightening......

Words: 17380 - Pages: 70

Sterotype & Prejudice

...Stereotypes and Prejudice Worksheet Please complete the following exercises, remembering that you are in an academic setting and should remain unbiased, considerate, and professional when completing this worksheet. Part I Select three of the identity categories below and name or describe at least 3 related stereotypes for each: * Race * Ethnicity * Religion * Gender * Sexual orientation * Age * Disability Category | Stereotype 1 | Stereotype 2 | Stereotype 3 | race | African-American are good at dancing while Caucasians have no rhythm. | Hispanics are not very fluent with the English language. | Jews are greedy misers who refuse to part with the money they earn. | Sexual-orientation | Gays and Lesbians are not fit to raise a child. | Men who are feminine are gay. | Woman who are masculine are lesbians. | Gender | Woman can’t do as good of a job as a man. | Men are the “backbone.” | Guys are messy and unclean. | Part II Answer each question in 50 to 100 words related to those stereotypes. Provide citations for all the sources you use. What are the positive aspects of stereotypes, if any? The positive aspects of stereotyping can sometimes keep an individual in safety. Stereotyping in the positive aspect could be understood as the way in which people reduce the complexity of the world to a more manageable level. It helps protect our minds from the information overload. For this reason, we resort to simplified......

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Bias

...Bias is “Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair,” as defined by the oxford dictionary. History is a subject that studies the history of the past events where historians express their judgment. In the recorded history, we often come across cases were we are able to discern bias in ones viewpoint. Few years ago, India experienced one of the most disastrous terrorist attacks on the decade. The 2008 Mumbai attacks, which dated from the 26th November 2008 to 29th November 2008. There was a lot of controversy as to who was the main culprit of these attacks. The ties between the two countries – India and Pakistan have been frail and contentious, therefore before any evidence was brought to the eyes of the world; already a lot of bias was perceptible not only by the Indian media but also American officials. Through this essay I want to objectively explore the confirmation bias that is deeply woven into the fabric of the language used by the media to inform us about the history of the Mumbai attacks. Confirmation bias is a “is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.” Looking back at the history of India and Pakistan, the bond between the two countries has been extremely fragile. Any mishap in the two countries automatically victimizes the other one and vice versa. The modern world can be referred to as the information society as every individual or...

Words: 967 - Pages: 4

Subtle Bias

...Running head: SUBTLE BIAS SHARED WITHIN AN AMERICAN SOCIAL CONSTRUCT Subtle Bias as a Social Construct In America May 28, 2012 Abstract An understanding of the subtle bias that affects our society is a form of humanistic deception. Although the norms in America appear to be uniform; we will see that biases are influenced by various social factors such as stereotype, prejudice, discrimination, and labeling including the Attribution Theory. This paper will compare and contrast scientific literature to gain more insight into the subtlety of this social construct. I am seeking not to understand the reason why we as social beings are bias, but to simply show that this distorted truth exist. Subtle Bias as a Social Construct In America My theory of unconscious bias along with the self-affirmation process that accompanies it clouds our worldview in our present society. We all do it no matter how accepting we appear to be or even claim to be. Irrational thoughts are usually based on a worldview that illustrates our interpretation of the world we live in (Wilson, 2001). This worldview is a set of assumptions and beliefs that we hold on to that guide our behavior. It helps us to make sense out of our lives. It determines what we think about human nature, causes of emotional issues, and where bias comes from (Entwistle, 2004). There is always some form of discriminatory behavior or covert prejudice prevailing within our essence. Unfortunately, there is a strong......

Words: 2423 - Pages: 10

Prejudice

...Prejudice and Discrimination Article Going on my 6-month expedition to India, I have explored, listen, saw and felt many emotions I cannot begin to explain. I started keeping a journal of everything I know was worth writing about. I met people who told me stories I couldn’t bear to listen because of how terrible it sound. The main point about writing my journal was based on discrimination and prejudice towards the people in India especially woman. It is very disappointing to know that there is still gender discrimination going on in India. We all live in a world where we feel according to Macionis (2011) that on a single level person either play up or play down their ethnicity, depending on whether they want to fit in or stand apart from the atmospheres society. That statement let alone tells me that people can have insecurities within themself or the fact that they are not open to who they are maybe depending on how they were raised or how not social they can be. Going to India and knowing that you are not there ethnicity, of course you will be looked stared at and knowing that discrimination happens to women still to this day makes me feel like I am being discriminated. India is a very large country; there were many different racial groups, discrimination towards woman, men, children and ethnicities that exist within India. Even though India is a very big country, it rapidly grows fast with people living there in every race. Known as the rigid caste system Dalits are......

Words: 1044 - Pages: 5

Analyse Methods to Overcome Prejudice

...Critically analyse methods which might be used to overcome prejudice. According to the oxford shorter dictionary prejudice is; a previous judgement especially a premature or hasty judgement, preconceived opinion; bias, favourable or unfavourable prepossession, usually with unfavourable condition, an unreasoning prediction or objection. Therefore prejudice is usually theorized as an attitude that has a cognitive element e.g. how people hold a certain belief about another group. It has an emotional element e.g. either they dislike or like the other group or it has an impulse element e.g. they might have a natural predisposition to have negative thoughts towards the other group. However most researchers define prejudice as a negative attitude. Alport (1954) in his seminal volume the nature of prejudice defined prejudice as “an antipathy based on faulty and inflexible generalization i.e. it’s an outgrowth of normal human function. He believed that “the human mind must think with the aid of categories…. Once formed categories are the basis for normal prejudgment. Humans cannot possibly avoid this process. Orderly living depends upon it (p.20). This explanation tells us that prejudice is not something logical or based in fact, but rather, on a series of assumptions, half-truths and guesses. Based on recent evaluations of what prejudice is, I have come to understand prejudice is based on an individual’s attitude whether positive or negative toward groups which creates a......

Words: 3879 - Pages: 16

Prejudice

...Prejudice Presented By: Nor Anisa Bt. Musa What is Prejudice? * Everyone comes face to face with prejudice at some time or another. * Prejudice is when we recognizethat we feel and act less positively towards others. * The roots of prejudice can be found in the cognitive and emotional processes. * Prejudice may be perceived as acceptable and justified * All inequality and differential treatment is not perceived and responded to in the same way. The nature and origins of streotyping, prejudice and discrimination * Prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination often overlap. * Prejudice is the feelings we have about particular groups. * Prejudice is a negative prejudgement of a group and its individual members. * Prejudice biases us against others based on the person’s group. * Prejudice is a combination of feelings, inclinations to act and beliefs. * Prejudice is complex and include a component of patronizing affection. * Stereotypes are the cognitive component attitudes towards a social group. * To stereotypes is to generalize. * It is a belief about what a particular group is like * It is a belief about the personal attributes of a group of people. * It is sometimes over generalized, inaccurate and resistant to new information but can be more or less true. Stereotypes Discrimination * Discrimination is the behavioural component or differential actions taken towards others * Prejudice is a negative......

Words: 1215 - Pages: 5

Prejudice

...Prejudice can be caused because of various reasons. Religion, ethnic race and social status are examples of causes of prejudice. Sometimes prejudice is caused by how we are raised. Many times parents pass on prejudice beliefs to their children. A lot people raised in the southern part of the country are prejudice against blacks. In the early to mid 1960’s, prejudice was alive and well in the south. Blacks had their own bathrooms and were forced to ride in the back of city busses. It’s hard to believe that was doing on only 40 years ago. A lot of Middle Eastern countries are very prejudice against women. The Civil War was based on prejudice beliefs. The North wanted to keep slavery and the South wanted to abolish slavery. Many blacks were beat, raped and killed just because of the color of their skin. Schools in the 1950’s were segregated. Some students were forced to ride buses for many miles to prevent whites and blacks from attending the same school. Finally segregation was introduced. It caused a lot of problems, including some riots but eventually people learned to live together and I believe it ended up being a good thing for people and out country. Slavery was stopped shortly after the Civil War but it did not stop people from being prejudice. The only way to stop prejudice is to teach all children from a young age to respect all people. Sometimes parents are not the right people to teach their children because they are already set in their ways and will never change....

Words: 2125 - Pages: 9

Bias Essay

... The Bias Challenge Anyone who is interested attaining a better personal understanding about their personal bias should take part in a bias challenge. These challenges can be attempted if you are curious to see if you have any bias or to take a closer look at your bias and see how they could be based on your personal inherent beliefs that are influenced by your culture. No matter which culture you are associated with, there is a hierarchy scale when it comes to ethnicity. Within that hierarchy scale, it can be observed that certain groups have privilege but those same privileged groups do not have that same internal perceptual view of themselves. For example, Caucasians are view as being high on the hierarchy scale while Latino Americans are low on that same scale. Unfortunately, Caucasians do not perceived themselves to be any more privileged than the next person. Could the reason be due to never experiencing the same transgressions that lower ethnic groups on the hierarchy scale have been subjected too? In order to answer that, I had to ask that question to myself. Surprisingly the answer did not immediately come to mind. One would think that if you ask yourself if you have any bias towards other ethnic groups, you would immediately answer a resounding “NO!”. While I did not think that I did, I could never be sure because I had never experience any sort of bias growing up. As a Canadian, I was surrounded by a society that was considered to be that of a......

Words: 2427 - Pages: 10

Prejudice in Organization

...UVA-OB-0381 PREJUDICE IN ORGANIZATIONS The problems faced by women and minorities create a serious malfunction in corporate operations. Minorities and women have yet to be accepted as full members of corporate formal and informal networks. Until they are, not only do they suffer but so does the corporation. The utilization of minorities and women in many, many cases toward corporate effectiveness and efficiency continues to be seriously hampered by behaviors in crucial interpersonal relationships that reflect racist and sexist attitudes. - John Fernandez1 Although many would like to believe otherwise, prejudiced attitudes continue to present problems for millions of people in our society. Prejudices result in counter productive behavior such as demeaning humor, verbal abuse, harassment, violence, and more subtly (given comparable performance) lower pay, slower or non-existent promotions, systematic exclusion from various gatherings, greater scrutiny, higher standards, and awkward social encounters. Many groups labor with these realities in the work place: women, racial minorities, older workers, foreign nationals, sexual preference, religious and ethnic groups, and the physically handicapped all feel the sting of social prejudice. Prejudice is a problem that touches all aspects of life, but it has only recently been addressed openly in the work place. Prejudice lingers despite the fact that noticeable shifts in the composition of our work force have......

Words: 8580 - Pages: 35

Prejudice

...Prejudice Introduction Prejudice is a term that I unfortunately am very familiar with. Although I am a blended individual, composed of various races and ethnicities, I primarily identify myself as being a black woman. I have encountered various forms of prejudices since I was a little girl. Just recently for example, I was told at work that I had pretty hair for a black girl, and that most black girls like myself did not have the type of hair that I had. The woman then asked me if I put water on my hair would it curl up like one of my other co-workers hair who was obviously bi-racial. I was offended by her remarks and questions, and I was concerned for her and her lack of knowledge. I really had to sit and analyze what she had just said to me. What did she mean by most black girls did not have hair like mine? Is she saying that all black women have nappy, coarse, hair that is not pretty? Is she saying that it is impossible for a black woman’s hair to curl? To avoid being rude I told her thank you, my hair curls, and I walked away dumbfounded. I had another incident occur in Vegas that was non race related, it was size related. I am not a skinny woman, I am very curvaceous and in my culture it is welcomed and viewed positively. The term for women my shape and size is “thick”. Some individuals view it as a good thing and some do not. Well every year my friends and I go to Vegas for Memorial Day weekend, and we research exclusive parties and attend them. One particular......

Words: 1771 - Pages: 8

Stereotypes and Prejudice

...University of Phoenix Material Stereotypes and Prejudice Worksheet Complete the following exercises, remembering that you are in an academic setting and should remain unbiased, considerate, and professional when completing this worksheet. Part I Select three of the identity categories below and name or describe at least three related stereotypes for each: • Race • Ethnicity • Religion • Gender • Sexual orientation • Age • Disability |Category |Stereotype 1 |Stereotype 2 |Stereotype 3 | |Age |No Experience |To old to understand |Not dependable | |Gender |Men like sports more then women |Women are not strong as men |Men are not clean as women | |Race |Not From United Staes |Don’t speak English |Recieveing government assistance | Part II Answer each question in 50 to 100 words related to those stereotypes. Provide citations for all the sources you use. What are the positive aspects of stereotypes, if any? I don’t believe there is a positive aspect to being prejudice, when you make a decision about a person based on other opinion that is bad. Prejudice can cause you to miss out on meet some of life greatest people......

Words: 527 - Pages: 3

Bias

...Lately, the concept of unconscious bias or “hidden bias” has come into the forefront of our work as diversity advocates because the dynamics of diversity are changing as we enter the 21st Century. Our tradition paradigm has generally assumed that patterns of discriminatory behavior in organizations are conscious; that people who know better do the right thing, and those who do not cause bias. As a result, we have developed a “good person/bad person” paradigm of diversity: a belief that good people are not biased, but inclusive, and that bad people are the biased ones (R. Cook 2008). Forms of unconscious bias with foreign employees: Out of the 10 unconscious biases mentioned in the article by Cook Ross (2014), I have noted the following to have a negative impact on the international business relations. Diagnosis bias, having foreign employees from India, employees make a quick decision on how to act with a person just based on initial perceived opinion. Pattern recognition, employees decide that if the Indian employee has completed a task wrong once before, they will do it wrongly again. Value attribution, employees consider that foreign Indian employees have values that they take for granted. Confirmational behavior, employees in Finland have noted to consider that what confirms their beliefs and then ignore what contradicts their beliefs while also disregarding the facts that contradict their points of view. Automatic perception, the Finnish employees have a reflexive......

Words: 894 - Pages: 4

Prejudice

...Prejudice is defined as a prejudgment, a feeling or an opinion established under no basis. It is when one decides to criticize another without any direct or contact with them or factual substance about them. In today’s world, social stereotypes and prejudices are based on various aspects of human orientation: skin color, racial background, financial background, religious preferences, physical appearance, gender and sexual orientation. There are many reasons behind social prejudices, some include: the ego-defensive reason, and the value-expressive reason. These pre-judgments have managed to create barriers between human beings and in a sense limited the knowledge children might chose to seek. Although some may argue that prejudice is highly due to human nature and human desire to feel superior, most of these prejudices are established by ones surroundings and environment. People sometimes chose to be prejudice against others for various reasons as mentioned above, but all these reasons are in fact a way to create excuses for personal insecurities. People sometimes might hold some prejudices simply because they do not wish to admit certain failures and problems. These problems may include: failure in a war, a corrupt society or even a dysfunctional household. Others might hold prejudices because they wish to portray an aspect in life they value, such as a certain religion. Prejudice is highly due to peoples need to make first impressions; therefore they follow stereotypes......

Words: 893 - Pages: 4