Thursday, January 29, 2004
Bias. Its really only about four letters, but it permeates everything we hear, a good deal of what we see and the majority of what we think. Unfortunately, there's no real way to escape from bias. Whenever we speak to a friend about any factual matter, we are suceptible to the bias that comes with the "eye witness account." No matter how good a person anyone may be, they will add their own slant to any account they see. My theory is because none of us sees the same thing. For instance, if three men looked at one car, one may say, "Look that's a sports car. I bet the driver of that car is a fast driver." The next person may look and say to himself, "That car is a nice shade of red. I wonder why that person picked that particular color." The third person may look at the car and notice that the keys are in the ignition and drive off with a brand new red sports car. My point is, that each person may see the same thing, but what one mind perceives is distinctly different from what another individual mind would perceive entirely. The reason for that is because we don't see things, or hear things without trying to interpret and unpack them. Our methods for interpreting and unpacking things are defined by our experiences and social values taught to us at a young age. This means that no two people interpret situations and ideas the same. And in relaying this information to someone else, they also pass on their own interpretations of what happened. So really there is no way for us to avoid bias. Its a horrible thing to have to realize, at least for me is was, but the truth of the matter is, such is the way of life I suppose. What can anyone do about bias? We can't escape it. I suppose the logical thing to do would be to garner more than one eyewitness account, or source of information, making sure to get all the facts and not just one person's account. What do you think?