Bias

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A bias is a prejudice in a general or specific sense, usually in the sense for having a preference to one particular point of view or ideological perspective. However, one is generally only said to be biased if one's powers of judgment are influenced by the biases one holds, to the extent that one's views could not be taken as being neutral or objective, but instead as subjective. A bias could, for example, lead one to accept or deny the truth of a claim, not on the basis of the strength of the arguments in support of the claim themselves, but because of the extent of the claim's correspondence with one's own preconceived ideas. This is called confirmation bias.

A systematic bias is a bias resulting from a flaw integral to the system within which the bias arises (for example, an incorrectly calibrated thermostat may consistently read — that is 'be biased' — several degrees hotter or colder than actual temperature). As a consequence, systematic bias commonly leads to systematic errors, as opposed to random errors, which tend to cancel one another out.

In practice, accusations of bias often result from a perception of unacknowledged favouritism on the part of a critic or judge, or indeed any person in a position requiring the careful and disinterested exercise of arbitration or assessment. Any tendency to favour a certain set of values naturally leads to an uneven dispensation of judgment. It may also be noted that, if a person were to take their own preexisting view as a priori balanced without acknowledging their own personal inclinations, any person or organization that disagrees with their views is likely to be viewed as biased regardless of that person or organization's actual efforts at balance. It may be observed that bias is, in a sense, reflexive, unacknowledged or unrecognized bias potentially leading to its apprehension (with or without good reason) in others.

See also

ar:انحياز da:Bias (psykologi) de:Bias he:נטאי simple:Bias sr:Биас sv:Metodfel


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