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Is everyone biased?

Some claim that they are not, others claim that everyone is.

Which is it according to you?

"Bias" According to Google:

Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Show prejudice for or against (someone or something) unfairly: "the tests were biased against women"; "a biased view of the world".
noun. prejudice - inclination - partiality - tendency
verb. influence - prejudice"

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    Jan 3 2013: not that i believe in god, but there is that saying: god does not want you to achieve goodness. but whenever he looks down, he wants to see you on the road to it.

    i don't care if you are biased, but you must be a little less biased today than yesterday.
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    Jan 3 2013: Krisztián Pintér, those missteps by Reuters were symptoms of larger problems in the news media: freakish desire to cater to audiences, dangerous obsession with speed and breaking news, and the internet-speeded decline of the news media's business model.

    News is important, people have forgotten that. They take it for granted and they're cynical about its status; but I believe that hateful attitude is the kind that will get us nowhere. "reuters is also good at publishing fake pictures and fake reports." What is this, man, 4chan? I get what you're saying, but say it like a man, not like a boy.
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      Jan 3 2013: Oh baloney. News is not important. It is advertising. News is twisted by media to sell the most advertising it can. Also known as bias. It's about money and developing a product for consumption by like minded individuals. Sometimes known as a Target Audience.
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        Jan 4 2013: Today's news media deserves that diagnosis, but it hasn't always been that way. Newsman used to be good men, but the business model now requires too much catering to audiences, making news a product and giving people what they want -- not what they need.
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      Jan 4 2013: one needs to be extremely stupid not to be able to explain one's behavior. i personally don't care about reuters' motivations. to me, they have proven themselves an unreliable source of information. trust is hard to gain, easy to lose.

      thanks for the recommendations. next time i will consider using four line long sentences with many adjectives and latin words instead of my usual, allegedly 4chan-ish, straight to the point brevity.
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        Jan 4 2013: Reuters was just as disappointed in their photographers, who were mostly let go. If I run a business, hire someone I trust, am betrayed by them and then act in the right way (fire them), does my reputation deserve to crash and burn?

        And It wasn't the brevity, sir, it was the "one needs to be extremely stupid" type hateful assertions that do nothing but rally those who agree with you and enrage those who don't.
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          Jan 4 2013: at least they say so. do you believe them? talk about bias.

          do you know google? enter "reuters fake", and ... magic
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    Jan 3 2013: Of course everyone is biased. Trick is to be aware of those biases and be able to set them aside when making decisions. That takes reflection and practice. Even then, it's not as easy as it sounds.
  • Anne N

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    Jan 11 2013: Everyone is biased due to differing life experiences but that doesn't mean that we can't try to see from others' perspectives as well.
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    Jan 4 2013: Yes .....
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    Jan 4 2013: Yes, especially you
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    Jan 4 2013: Linda Taylor,

    A rebel is a member of an uprising; a terrorist is a member of a group that engages in the systematic use of terror. Sometimes those lines are blurred. No doubt about it. Rebels, theoretically, can be good, can be nonviolent. Rebels protest, but rebels often engage in acts of terror. These are bad. And terrorism -- like I said before, the systematic use of terror -- is across the board bad. There is no justifiable time to terrorize innocents, whatever the cause (at least that's my view.)
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    Jan 3 2013: We are naturally biased, and by understanding how... We can figure out how to be less bias. Yet, a 'bias' isn't innately bad... I have a bias against fundamentalist/extremist - why? - more than not, they seem to be closed minded.

    What makes a bias 'bad' (to me) is when you have figured out your own biased notions, and continue to perform them anyways - for whatever reason.

    Check out: cognitive bias [theory]
  • Jan 3 2013: I think the general consensus is that yeah, we're all biased for sure. No dispute there.
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    Jan 3 2013: A question is if you would distinguish intentional bias from accidental bias. Certainly everybody is biased, but some people can be talked out of their position with good reason. Some can't, because they have a vested interest. And there's a third group that will stick to their biases out of pride or fear of being proven wrong, even though they didn't have any particular interest in being biased that way. I think we should make a special effort with these people, and show them society in a modern democracy won't (shouldn't) shame you for being wrong if you honestly intend to learn and do good.
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    Jan 3 2013: I think I could imagine that different people are biased in different ways in different situations. I too would think life is a journey, a constant process of grappling with your biases. I would think that the decisions that prevail are the decisions that are the least biased, that ultimately are the most fair. Biased decisions will tend to fall by the wayside, ultimately be found out and discarded.
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    Jan 3 2013: Everyone is biased to some degree in relation to one subject or another, however if you have intellectual honesty you can quite easily overcome that bias when you remove emotion and pre-conceived notions from the subject.
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    Jan 3 2013: Daniel Kahneman's Nobel address, available online, is on this subject. He argues that we hang onto prior notions with some tenacity, even if we are aware of this tendency. Confirmation bias is a human trait, more extreme in some than in others.

    I agree wih John's succinct reply below.
  • Jan 3 2013: "Is everyone biased?"

    Yes, you will never have complete information on everything so you make assumptions and estimates and those will sometimes be biased because, without being aware of it, you are missing an important piece of information. That's of course in addition to all the ways a bias can be the result of carelessness, complacency and wishful thinking.
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    Jan 3 2013: So basically, while I am biased and have my preconceptions, I have to be able to recognize them for what they are and turn them off.
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      Jan 3 2013: You can't turn them off. What a silly idea. It's like trying to turn off my negative bias towards spinach.
      You have to be aware of your bias when making decisions. Then pause and do like a double check to see if bias is influencing your decision in a negative way. It's not easy and it take practice because we like our biases so much. They are like our favorite blanket. Sometimes a different blanket is warmer but it's not our favorite. So are you willing to be cold just so you can have your favorite blanket?
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        Jan 3 2013: I disagree. It's called epistemological modesty.
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          Jan 3 2013: Ah young grasshopper...
          Epistemological modesty just means even given the best effort, you can't know everything. In my business that is known as a random variable. And like random variables, epistemological modesty should be set aside so you can work with the best data available to explain the phenomena.

          The reason it takes reflection and practice is because you get better at recognizing and addressing your biases. If you could know all your biases, what would be the point? So you have no chance in hades to 'turn them off." You can just get better at addressing them. They call it moving them into cognition.
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    Jan 3 2013: Psychology says yes. Even when you're born, you are "fifty percent nature." The other fifty percent, of course, is something they call nurture: life experience. As someone who (a) is going to be a journalist and (b) is maddeningly sickened by the hyper-partisan garbage that gets passed off as objective reporting, I am inclined to have less and less faith in humanity's ability to see through indifferent eyes, in its ability to not sympathize and empathize with other human beings and their struggles; but as someone who also believes fiery in the notions of journalism's foundation: truth, objectivity, justice -- I strive to, as so few do today, look at things objectively.

    And for the record, objectivity and non-bias isn't dead. Reuters and AP do a great job providing non-biased coverage of global events.
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      Jan 3 2013: reuters is also good at publishing fake pictures and fake reports
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      Jan 3 2013: AP? All media is biased. If you want balanced coverage you have to balance it yourself.
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        Jan 3 2013: Good journalism exists, but it is rare these days. Ted Koppel has been crusading against the craziness for years now. I know who I am. I know I am honest. I know I will report what I see and what I see only. I will not hide or make up information. Of course then my inherent bias, you'll say, comes out in WHAT I choose to cover. Writing a string of objective profiles of abortion-rights advocates is surely a biased move; but if you work 'agendaless', which is very much not impossible. It's the 'putting on the first clothes you see' approach to reporting. Take whatever story, whatever job, be a set of eyes and ears, and surrender yourself to the river of truth. As they say, it will set you free. I am a firm believer than an event can be recorded fairly, and it is the duty of some to do this recording. I hope to be one of them, because they're doing less and less seeing and hearing, and more and more thinking. That's bad for journalism. Also, long-form needs a revival.
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          Jan 4 2013: I don't think we can ever be free of bias. Let me ask you a question.

          What is the difference between an rebel and a terrorist?

          Whether or not they are backed by the current administration.