Discuss a time when a bias you had about a certain topic made it difficult for you to reason with either evidence you were presented
In this learning block, you learned about bias and how a person’s bias could compromise their ability to effectively reason with evidence and ideas. In a short response, discuss a time when a bias you had about a certain topic made it difficult for you to reason with either evidence you were presented with or the ideas another person had about that topic. Based on the types of bias you learned about in the CREDO video, identify the type of bias you discussed, and explain your reasoning. Then, briefly share your thoughts as to why being aware of the existence of biases is important to critical thinking and necessary when doing research, when reviewing information, or when learning about the arguments of others.
actually here’s the transcript from the video:
- All people have preconceived notions about how the world works and what to expect from
- certain situations. Sometimes, this is helpful—for example, if you’re predisposed to think
- a bear is dangerous, you will take precautions to stay safe on a camping trip. Or if you
- know you have difficulty waking up early, you may be reluctant to take an 8 a.m. class,
- because you know you won’t perform well. However, sometimes a tendency to think one
- way or another can compromise a person’s ability to reason with evidence and ideas
- effectively. This is bias. It’s important to be aware of the existence of biases when
- evaluating your own responses to sources and situations, and when examining the reasoning
- and arguments of others. Biases can be conscious or subconscious: Sometimes,
- you are aware that you bring a certain way of thinking to a situation (such as rooting
- for a sports team because it’s from your hometown). Other times, subconscious biases
- that are more difficult to identify may be present (without realizing it, a textbook
- author may lean toward including sources written by American researchers, even though international
- scholars also may have valuable contributions to the field).
- Many different types of biases can compromise a person’s logical thinking. Let’s review
- a few of the most common here. Social bias occurs when people think a certain way or
- believe a certain thing about a social group, such as members of a particular race, religion,
- sex, or class, and make assumptions or judge behaviors based on those preconceived notions.
- This type of bias can be conscious (think of a political candidate arguing that an ethnic
- group is dangerous and should be barred from immigrating) or subconscious (a store employee
- treating customers of various races differently without realizing it). Similarly, ingroup
- bias happens when a person is biased in favor of someone in their own group, from members
- of the same political party, to friends from the same extracurricular club or academics
- with the same training. Another type of bias is confirmation bias—the
- tendency to seek out and use information that supports views you already hold. Communal
- reinforcement is similar and occurs when an accepted idea in a particular community goes
- unchallenged because it is widely held. These ideas and beliefs may or may not have evidence
- to support them, but they still are frequently asserted. Examples of beliefs may include
- the causes of a disease, or assumptions about the role of women in the workforce.
- The increased usage of the Internet and social media has made sources covering all viewpoints
- easily available. This makes it particularly easy for individuals to practice confirmation
- bias or communal reinforcement by only listening to or following sources that agree with their
- own viewpoints or community norms. While these and many other forms of bias and
- faulty logic differ depending on the situation, they all run the risk of compromising critical
- thinking. Why is being aware of bias and assumptions
- so important to critical thinking? At the heart of being a strong critical thinker is
- the ability to thoroughly examine every side of a situation, ask questions that will enhance
- your understanding, and be fair and open minded when evaluating ideas. In other words, to
- be a strong critical thinker you must approach a situation with eyes open—but bias and
- assumptions can blur your vision. If your mind wants to travel down the route
- it already had a tendency to follow, it can be hard to steer it in a different direction.
- Biases and assumptions can hinder you from identifying an argument’s flaws or from
- questioning a situation. Likewise, the biases of others can affect their own use of evidence
- and articulation of ideas. If you don’t question the biases that another person brings
- to the table, you won’t be as effective in seeking alternate viewpoints or understanding
- the reasoning behind their thinking. When it comes to combating bias, awareness
- is the first step toward fairness. In the following chapters, we’ll take a deeper
- look at how to recognize and evaluate your own biases and biases in others.
- End of transcript. Skip to the start.
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