What Is Bias?

A bias is a tendency. Most biases—like preferring to eat food instead of paper clips, or assuming someone on fire should be put out—are helpful. But cognitive shortcuts can cause problems when we're not aware of them and we apply them inappropriately, leading to rash decisions or discriminatory practices (based on, say, racism and sexism). Relying on biases but keeping them in check requires a delicate balance of self-awareness.



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