How Bias Influences Critical Thinking

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How Bias Influences Critical Thinking

By | October 2012
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Bias is prejudice against or in favor of another a thing, person, or group. I would first like to talk about two of the major causes that may render or affect a person's bias. Experience by I believe by far is the number one reason. What a person experiences throughout their life will effect their outlook on similar situations. Just as Pavlov's dogs reacted to the sound of of a ringing bell and automatically associated it with food; people associate familiar sights, sounds, smells actions, and, thoughts with how they should act or think as well as what is to follow. Sometimes it only takes a single event to occur for a person to develop a strong opinion. Influence is also another factor that might cause one to become bias. If a person is taught to believe something with out proof through their own experience, especially in matters based on opinion, then they too may also develop a false sense what is reality.

Critical thinking requires that an individual be open minded. Being bias pretty much eliminates any chance of this happening because being bias requires you to form an opinion. When thinking critically you must question everything and assume nothing. Bias clouds the vision when searching for answers. For example consider you have been selected as a juror for a particular trial. I believe that a requirement of jury duty is to think critically. The case involves a individual accused of rape. You were raped at some point in the past. You were once the victim of the same crime so you might lean towards the side of the prosecution automatically, because you associate with the victim and what they allege they have gone through you are more likely to find the defendant guilty before all of the facts in the case have been presented. Bias, in this scenario, could send an innocent person to prison for life or even be condemned to die. Bias must never play a part in a critical thinking situation because the results have a strong tendency to not be their best.
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