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Biases Essay

1243 words - 5 pages

Bias comes in many forms, including race, age, gender, and ethnicity and can be universal or location specific (Fiske, 2010). Biased individuals believe the biases they are applying to others are right without regard for the truth (Fiske). Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination are all somewhat similar; however, they are also very different. Each form of bias is performed by one individual or group of individuals judging another individual or group of individuals prior to obtaining factual knowledge of the individual or group (Fiske). However, each form of bias is performed with a different focus.
An individual behaves in a prejudicial manner when he or she has an emotional reaction ...view middle of the document...

An example of discrimination is a female not getting a job because the hiring manager wanted a male to fill the position.
Differences between Subtle and Blatant Bias
Although it is understood that bias is biased, it is essential to highlight the differences in the presentation of biases. Subtle biases, for example, are not displayed forcefully (Sritharan & Gawronski, 2010). An individual may appear to be unbiased and even consider him or herself to be unbiased. However, when an issue becomes personal he or she is likely to have at least slight preferences on the matter (Fiske, 2010; Sritharan & Gawronski). For example, while most Americans believe public schools should be integrated, a portion of the population is uncomfortable with interracial marriage. These subtle biases can remain dormant or even undetected, but this does not mean they do not exist.
Adversely, blatant biases are not deniable (Sritharan & Gawronski, 2010). These biases are displayed for the world to see. Blatant biases announce an individual’s displeasure with someone or something. These biases are founded on the core social motive of belonging (Fiske, 2010). In order to fit in with the “in” group, individuals must display the same beliefs as the group, no matter who is hurt by the display (Fiske). An example of blatant bias are hate crimes; an individual causing harm to another individual because he or she is of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, or social status. The perpetrator displays dislike or prejudice against the victim for the world to see, without regard for the victim and believes he or she is justified in his or her actions (Fiske).
Impact of Bias on the Lives of Individuals
Biases impact not only the victim of the bias, but also every individual who witnesses the bias as well as the perpetrator (Rivers, Poteat, Noret, & Ashurst, 2009). It takes a strong individual to stand tall in the face of adversity. Individuals who fall victim to prejudices, stereotypes, and discrimination do so in various ways; some succumb to depression and withdrawal, while others give in to the stereotypes, often believing the stereotypes placed against them or others (Rivers, et al.). While it is understandable how prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination can lead an individual to low self-esteem, mental breakdowns, depression, and other lows, this is not always the outcome (Sinclair & Kunda, 1999).
Individuals who do not fall victim to bias are often able use such circumstances as motivating factors (Sinclair & Kunda, 1999). What was intended to hurt, degrade, belittle, and flat out stop these individuals, actually propels them forward. These individuals may suffer from moments of negativity, but they only give brief moments to the negative desires which could consume them. Individuals who are strong enough to overcome adversity are often driven by a...

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