Knowledge — 3 weeks ago

What Does It Mean to Be Biased?

by Kourtney C.

What Does Bias Mean, Definition of Bias

What Does Bias Mean?

What does the word bias mean? The word, basically, means an inclination towards a certain idea or proposition. The inclination can be for, or against something. So, you can either have a bias in support of something/somebody or be unfairly prejudiced against that something/somebody. What does it mean to be biased? Bias can be innate or even learned behavior. You can be biased for or against an individual or a group. To be bias means expressing a preference or dislike for this individual/group.

What does bias mean in the sciences? Bias meaning in the sciences is to face a systematic error. For eg: Statistical bias, is when unfair sampling has been carried out and does not provide accurate results.

What Does the Word Bias Mean?

If we are to examine the etymological origin of the English word “bias”, we learn that it is a French loan word. What does the word bias mean can be understood by looking at the old French word biais meaning “a slant/slope” . The Old French word was in turn derived from the old Provencal word “biais”, which stood for “sideways, askance and against the grain”.

What Does Bias Mean

What Does it Mean to be Biased?

To be bias means, to favor one thing over another due to pre-existing prejudice for one of the options on offer. Bias can be healthy in certain cases – like choosing to eat fresh and organic whole foods instead of mass-produced and packaged food products. However, most often to be bias means a lack of awareness or incomplete knowledge. Which is why biased behavior should not be encouraged. When an individual is biased, he/she accepts their own bias and does not question it. Actions that stem out of bias can be rash and discriminatory.

What does bias mean? Bias meaning is to behave or act based on stereotypes. Stereotypes are far from the truth and yet, the common public is quite susceptible to them. Racial/communal hatred has been incited on several occasions based simply on stereotypes.

Besides explicit biases, individuals may also suffer from implicit biases. Implicit biases are the result of improper socialization. When a person grows up with others in his/her environment subscribing to certain stereotypes, they internalize the same stereotypes. Even if they would never consciously air these stereotypes in public, they play on at the back of their mind.

To Be Bias Means
Types of Bias

Below, we discuss the several ways in which people can experience bias –

  • Cognitive Bias – Cognitive bias meaning - a repeated misstep in cognition. Such a bias can result in a flawed perception, judgment, and interpretation. It can lead to irrational behavior. However, not all cognitive biases perform negative functions. Some can help you problem-solve when speed is prioritized over precision.
  • Confirmation Bias – Confirmation bias meaning the habit of recalling, looking for and interpreting information in such a way that confirms the beliefs held by a person/group. In confirmation bias, to be bias means, that you negate however much the quantity of contradictory information available.
  • Attribution Bias – Sometimes, we analyze the people we interact with and attribute their personality for their behavioral flaws. However, when it comes to our own selves, we also take circumstance into account. The analyses we make about these people may not be the truth, but we still prefer to look at them along those lines – this is an example of what does it mean to be biased when making attributions.

Avoid Being Biased

What does the word bias mean and how does it affect us in our day-to-day lives? Bias gives way to prejudice and discrimination. It isn’t healthy to judge and form an opinion about something/someone based on information that isn’t holistic or from a verifiable source.  By now, you should have understood what does bias mean and what does it mean to be biased. One needs to steer clear of preconceived notions when interacting with other people. Only then, will they learn anything from the interaction. Bias inhibits learning and growth. It is best to keep an open mind when venturing forth into the world. You can form your opinions once you have learned enough information about the subject you want to have an opinion on.


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