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

Weight Loss, Dating, and Relationships

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Does the stigma against obesity even apply to people who have successfully lost weight? New research provides a look at how this kind of stigma can affect mating choices.

How Many Americans Want to Be Single? Results of 5 Studies

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on September 20, 2017 in Living Single
How many unmarried Americans want to be married? 5 studies suggest answers, but it will take a revolution to know for sure.

Myths and Truths About Successful CEOs

By Ray Williams on September 19, 2017 in Wired for Success
Myths about what constitutes successful CEOs in America persist—reinforced by the media, corporate boards and some business experts.
Chengwei Liu

The Winner Shouldn't Take It All

By Chengwei Liu Ph.D. on September 18, 2017 in Decisions Defined
The winner shouldn't take it all because many of them are simply the luckiest.
By Martin Ransohoff (http://web.poptower.com/tyrel-ventura.htm) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Explaining Delusional Thinking

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on September 15, 2017 in Science of Choice
The dual-process framework of decision-making can provide some insights into the theory of delusional belief.

Being Biased Impairs Brain Processing and Disrupts Learning

By Nick Hobson Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in Ritual and the Brain
Group bias can impair your brain's learning function. Here's why your workplace should know this.

Exploding Three Myths and Stereotypes of Aging

Are we really predestined to become senile and fall apart as we age? Let's stand up for ourselves and appreciate the facts of growing older.

End Age Segregation

By Mario D Garrett Ph.D. on September 11, 2017 in iAge
The call for breaking down age segregation completely.

The Flight Attendant Said My Leg Was Going to Fall Off

Medical advice should make people feel better, but it's easy to make them feel worse, by only paying attention to what you say, not what they hear.

4 Ways Culture Impacts Acceptance of Mental Health Problems

By Lauren Mizock Ph.D. on September 08, 2017 in Cultural Competence
Four cultural factors that impact the process of acceptance of a mental health problem.

When 'Speak Out' Culture Becomes 'Callout' Culture

College callout culture has breached the campus gate, and Google is the first high-profile company to join the post-rational world. What allowed it to happen; can it happen again?

When Should Journalists Put Down the Mic and Lend Aid?

When is it a moral imperative for journalists covering hurricanes and other disasters to intervene to help victims, and when is it mere grandstanding?

Faux Feminism

Is feminism a liberation movement, a lifestyle or a brand?

The War on Experts

By Gary Klein Ph.D. on September 06, 2017 in Seeing What Others Don't
Countering the exaggerated claims of researchers in the fields of Decision Making, Heuristics and Biases, Evidence-Based Performance, Sociology, and Information Technology.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Psychology Behind Racism

Can racism and other forms of bigotry be categorized as mental illnesses?

What's the Difference Between Bullying and Teasing?

Is your child the victim of bullying? Parents and kids can develop plans together to outwit the bullies.

Can Brain Imaging Teach Us Anything about Racism?

Confused and exasperated over recent events in Charlottesville? Here's a look into what neuroscience can and can't tell us about racism.

The Psychological Toll Facing Immigrants in Today's America

By E. J. R. David Ph.D. on September 06, 2017 in Unseen and Unheard
The US Congress has the power to relieve 800,000 people and their families the burden of unnecessary stress. The US Congress has the power to stop oppression. Will they do it?

Pre-employment Psychological Screening for Cops

By Ellen Kirschman Ph.D. on September 05, 2017 in Cop Doc
Can pre-employment psychological screening of police applicants reduce reduce racism, sexism and homophobia? Let's separate fact from fiction.
ibtimes

Did Trump Create A Moral Panic To Get Elected?

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on September 05, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
Is it possible for influential individuals or groups to achieve their goals by either creating or exploiting widespread public fear?

What Black Women Need to Know About Eating Disorders

By Carolyn C. Ross M.D., M.P.H. on September 04, 2017 in Real Healing
Eating disorders have long been seen as problems primarily affecting white women. That's because they too often go undetected and untreated in black women.

Racism Hides Behind The Small Things People Say And Do

By Monnica T Williams Ph.D. on September 04, 2017 in Culturally Speaking
New research finds that White college students who engage in microaggressions are more likely to have racist attitudes.

Biased Algorithms?

Algorithms govern most aspects of our lives with secret, biased methods. A data scientist turned activist gives us tips to uncover these biases and demand accountability.

Revisiting the Google Manifesto

Were there gender difference in the past? It is extremely likely. Do we know if they were like gender differences we see today? No.

How a Psychotherapist Dealt with His Fat Bias

As we began working together I was able to tell my patient how stunned I felt when we first met. This opened the door to being able to talk about this together.

Empathy and Morality

By Mark B. Baer, Esq. on September 01, 2017 in Empathy and Relationships
How are your moral judgments impacting human society?

TV Host's "Hot Take" on Body Acceptance Is Dangerous

By Sunny Sea Gold on August 31, 2017 in Weighty Truths
Could Bill Maher's and other media-makers' fat-jokes hurt people's health and boost hate? Research says yes.

Does Women's Biology Hurt Them in Tech?

The Google memo on women went viral, but it is mainly scientific nonsense.

The Psychology of Political Violence

Political violence has its roots in anger, contempt, and disgust; three emotions familiar to all of us. Maintaining our civic values requires avoiding the impulse to dehumanize.

I Read the News, Therefore I Am (Prejudiced)

Are you really getting the news when you flick and click?