What Is Bias?

A bias is a tendency. Most biases—like the preference to eat food instead of paper clips—are helpful. But cognitive shortcuts can cause problems when we're not aware of them and apply them inappropriately, leading to rash decisions or discriminatory practices. Stereotype threat, for example, is the confirmation of negative stereotypes about another person's race, gender, group, and so on. Relying on biases but keeping them in check requires a delicate balance of self-awareness.

Recent posts on Bias

Codifying Discrimination: Trump’s Anti-Transgender Policy

Why President Trump’s policy banning transgender Americans from military service promotes a culture of intolerance and is fundamentally flawed.

Why Black and Latinx Health Matters During an ACA Repeal

By Mariel Buque M.A. on July 25, 2017 in Unpacking Race
Why Black and Latinx health matters during an ACA repeal.

How To Explain How Genes Affect Politics

How do genes affect political attitudes and behavior? At least one guy knows how to explain it.

Learning About Privilege

Privilege is usually completely invisible to those that benefit from it. By virtue of being born into certain groups, we find ourselves receiving unearned rewards.

"I-knew-it-all-along": 3 Steps to Avoid Living in the Past

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on July 20, 2017 in Clear Communication
Does your hindsight 20/20 need a vision test?

Why Brilliant Girls Tend to Favor Non-STEM Careers

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 20, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
If there are bona fide gender differences in preferences and interests, equal opportunities may never translate into equal outcomes.

The Covert Bullying of Obese Adults

Negative judgments of a job candidate's weight can carry over to other traits.

Secure Attachment: The Norm in Interethnic Relationships

How accurate are negative stereotypes about individuals who form long-term relationships across ethnic lines? Attachment studies suggest that the stereotypes are false.

What's With the Emerging Gender Gap in Social Psychology?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 18, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Are you concerned about the gender gap in scientific fields, because such gaps reflect discrimination? Then you might want to consider this.

No, Empathy Isn’t a Universal Value

By Sara Konrath Ph.D. on July 17, 2017 in The Empathy Gap
Which countries score the highest on empathy?

Gender Bias in Science?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Where is the biggest, baddest, bias in social science on politicized topics?
By star5112 (JOH_0364) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Why Do We Love to Chase?

Unpredictable rewards produce much larger pleasure than expected ones.

What’s in It for Women? Vs. What’s in It for My Husband?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Living Single
A new study suggests that single women think differently than married women in a way that helps explain why they vote reliably for Democrats and married women do not.

Polyphobia

This blog explores discrimination and prejudice against polyamorous people in loss of social ties, housing, child custody, job loss, and selective enforcement of rules or laws.

Susan Cain On Educating Our Introverts

By Isaac Lidsky on July 13, 2017 in Mastering Your Reality
A quiet revolutionary sees in our education system the failure of our society to harness the power of introverts, to their lasting detriment, and ours.

Some Forms of Compassion Are More “Acceptable” Than Others

Everything is a matter of perception, including empathy and compassion.

The Question of Contact

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on July 10, 2017 in Plato on Pop
Can personal experience ever be used to justifiably override scientific evidence or argument?

What Happened To Moderation, Civility, and Compromise?

How polarized are we, and what can we do to reclaim the democratic virtues of moderation, civility, and compromise?

“Shots Fired” Cry Havoc’s take on Dallas Shootings of 7/7/16

By Julie K. Hersh on July 10, 2017 in Struck By Living
Two thought-provoking plays in Dallas, Texas address the anger and pain associated with race in the United States.

The Ins and Outs of Ageism

Younger workers can face age discrimination, too.

Rallying the Troops Versus Quieting the Indignation

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on July 10, 2017 in Attitude Check
Is open-mindedness enough to make us more tolerant of other groups?

Playing Politics with Mental Illness

Unsubstantiated allegations of mental illness directed toward public figures reinforce the pervasive stigma associated with mental disorders. Who is really being harmed?

Not-So-Leaky Pipelines

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on July 08, 2017 in Pop Psych
Some people think the world of academia is biased against women when it comes to hiring. Turns out just the opposite is true

Gender Bias in Science or Biased Claims of Gender Bias?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 08, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Where is the bias? Is it in the sexism of scientists or in the politics of those proclaiming sexism in science?

Four Messages We Wished We Got from the New Wonder Woman

Two body image experts review the new Wonder Woman movie. Here are four critical messages we think the film left out.
OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay

Three Tips for Leaders to Overcome Succession Failures

By Chengwei Liu Ph.D. on July 05, 2017 in Decisions Defined
How do you avoid leadership succession failures? Three tips to fight against the biases.

More Porn, Less Rape? The Controversy Revisited

By Michael Castleman M.A. on July 02, 2017 in All About Sex
Does pornography contribute to sexual assault. Retrospective trials says yes, but prospective trials say no. Prospective trials are much more credible. So, more porn, less rape.

Psychology, Gullibility, and the Business of Fake News

By Joe Pierre M.D. on July 01, 2017 in Psych Unseen
President Trump keeps using the phrase "fake news." Does it really mean what he thinks it means?

Your Biases And Beliefs Are Impacting Your Decision-Making

A line must be drawn when the beliefs of one person or a group of people harm another person or group of people.

How Do Biases Influence Our Spending?

By Holly Parker, Ph.D. on June 27, 2017 in Your Future Self
But heuristic processing can also sidetrack us, leading us to spend money in ways we probably wouldn’t if we were taking in the situation a little more mindfully.