Module Two Short Answer – Bias Raegan Allen
Undoubtedly, when the notion of bias comes to mind, it is imperative to understand that it is not one that most people are aware they are susceptible to, with or without their knowledge. In this case, I remember a case whereby we had a place that we could rent out, and when we did rent it out, a “weird” couple drove up to the driveway, and two men got out and held hands intimately as they approached. Inasmuch as I was aware of the presence of many persons who identified themselves as LGBTQ, I was puzzled to see them real close, and within no time, we were at loggerheads concerning their sexuality as the main reason we could rent out the apartment to them. My belief was that it was an unnatural behavior that strongly disagreed with my Christian values.
Much later, I realized that this was nothing more than confirmation bias, because it has a tendency to make a selective observation (Oswald & Grosjean, 2004). In this case, I firmly believed in my position concerning same-sex relationships, to the extent that I only allowed those that agreed with me and utterly did not listen to information that was in contradiction with mine. As such, I ended up formulating opinions that were based on my beliefs, prejudices, and desires.
It is vital to understand that when one is aware of biases that they could otherwise make when they are not aware, one begins catching themselves more. As such, when this happens, it is vital that one should reflect, and whenever necessary, make an apology. It is also important to understand that confirmation bias is one that is inherent, or typically a stereotype that is learned concerning people, which every person forms, even without realizing it. Being aware of our own biases helps us make decisions that are suitable for everyone.
Lastly, having a comprehension of research bias gives readers the chance to critically and also be in a position to review a particular scientific literature and refrain from treatments that are essentially suboptimal or possibly harmful (Hammersley & Gomm, 1997). An in-depth comprehension of the notion of bias as well as how it affects the results of a study is very important in research and helps avoid pitfalls that can negatively influence the results.
Hammersley, M., & Gomm, R. (1997). Bias in social research. Sociological research online, 2(1), 7-19.
Oswald, M. E., & Grosjean, S. (2004). Confirmation bias. Cognitive illusions: A handbook on fallacies and biases in thinking, judgement and memory, 79.
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Reflect on a time when you were biased about a topic. These can be hard to identify, so think of a time when it was difficult for you to reason with evidence that you were presented or the ideas another person had about that topic.
Identify which type of bias it was. Make sure to identify one of the types of bias mentioned in the module resources (social, ingroup, confirmation, communal reinforcement).
Explain why being aware of biases is important to avoid making assumptions.
Explain why being aware of biases is necessary when doing research. This could include reviewing information or learning about the arguments of others.