Have you at any point realized that you were giving a biased opinion based on your emotional standpoint? Do you sometimes wonder if the opinions you give are from a neutral standpoint?
Learning what bias is and your tendencies to give a prejudiced standpoint is crucial in learning how to avoid it. So what is a biased opinion?
This article explores what a biased opinion is, common examples of having a biased viewpoint, and the disadvantages of bias.
What is a biased opinion?
A biased opinion is one that is unjustified in its favor or unfavorable in light of your beliefs. This often refers to a view that is biased toward a certain element.
For example, a conference is being reported in the newspapers in a very biased and political manner.
It also refers to a strong mental bias or preconceived notion regarding something or someone. A bias can be positive or negative: bias for or against an idea.
A biased opinion would result if, for instance, you were to select between your best friend and a stranger when they were both competing for a job role. However, despite the stranger’s superior performance, you recommend your best friend for the job.
A biased opinion is also one that is held for personal gain rather than because it is supported by solid evidence.
What are examples of a biased opinion?
Common examples of giving a biased opinion include defending your religious sentiments, political propaganda, business preferability, food choice, etc.
For instance, a salesperson for a car dealership might believe that their business sells the best cars in the region. The salesperson has a bias in favor of the car brands sold by his employer.
Additionally, biases towards particular religions might take two different forms. If someone has a bias for their own faith, they will consider their practices and beliefs to be superior to those of any other faith.
However, if they have a prejudiced opinion against a particular religion, they may express it by being vulgar or insensitive or even by vandalizing places of worship.
A person who has a political bias will typically talk more favorably about politicians who are affiliated with the same party.
If the same person has prejudice towards someone who holds a different political allegiance, they may demonstrate this prejudice by dismissing or disagreeing with them right away.
What are the disadvantages of a biased opinion?
Biased views can have an impact on your work life by affecting the actions and choices you make, such as who you hire or promote and how you engage with people from a particular group.
It may also affect the suggestions you consider and the manner in which you evaluate employee performance.
You might act unfairly toward a protected class as a result of your biased viewpoint, which could lead to charges of discrimination being brought against the organization or institution.
Such an occurrence can eventually lead to decreased earnings, diminished staff morale, lost productivity, bad reputation, and employee departure.
How do you avoid making biased opinions?
You can avoid making biased opinions by being specific when talking about people, maintaining gender-neutral tones, and choosing your words carefully.
Until you set aside your preconceived views and consider other people’s explanations, bias will continue to emerge.
1. Use gender-neutral tones
The term “man” is used in a lot of everyday sentences and words. For instance, manning a project, men at work, and manpower. Try using a different language instead of these like, people, the workforce, and employees in a project, for instance.
2. Writing about people requires specificity
When writing, describing persons is frequently necessary. It’s crucial to be as descriptive as you can while writing about people.
For instance, instead of using terms like “elderly” or “senior,” refer to someone by their precise age (or age range).
The same holds true when discussing the cultures and ethnicities of people. The rule entails being as precise as you can.
3. Avoid gender assumptions
In order to avoid mentioning specific people by name repeatedly in their writing, writers frequently employ pronouns like he or her. However, as a writer, you may occasionally use these pronouns to refer to unidentified individuals or groups of individuals.
In this situation, you need to watch out for bias by not presuming the gender of those you are talking about. For instance, you might accidentally refer to a mechanic as “he” when writing about them without knowing their gender.
If possible, avoid using pronouns with a specific gender when referring to someone unknown.
4. Make comparisons carefully
You could want to write a comparison between two things. However, if the language was chosen to compare groups, people, businesses, or ideas to show your feelings, it may lead to bias.
Words like ‘terrible’ convey your sentiments on the subject. Likewise, it is biased to imply that something is odd when you use a word like “normal” to describe it.
When is bias a good thing?
Some biases are advantageous and beneficial, such as the decision to only consume foods that are regarded as healthy or to avoid those who have intentionally harmed others.
Can expert opinions be biased?
Yes, bias exists even among experts. For instance, myths about the brain are sometimes held even by those with neuroscience training. Even expert witnesses tend to give biased opinions during court trials.
What is the importance of avoiding bias?
Both conscious and unconscious bias has an impact on how you engage with the outside environment. Without challenging your biases, you lose out on the chance to develop, connect, and learn.
Until everyone makes a commitment to act with an open mind, a biased opinion will continue to cloud the waters in both personal and professional contexts. As long as people hold on to their prejudices and fail to consider other people’s perspectives, bias will continue to grow.
If you allow your prejudices to run unchecked, you will most likely only associate with people who perceive the world, think about it, and behave in it as you do. Such limitations can make you prejudiced against certain groups and can ultimately lead to violence.
Hence, in order to curb bias or prejudice early on, it is crucial that children learn how to interact with different people from a young age. This among many other reasons is why diversity is important in school.
Learn more about the importance of diversity in schools and how it helps limit discrimination among people.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.