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Are you unbiased or are you really….biased?

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Bias. A tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone. Whether we agree to it or not, we are all biased in some way or another but we often overlook the important biases that reside within us – the implicit or unconscious biases.

Recently, in a workshop that was organised for my class in college, we learnt about media bias, the very crux of it or you can say, just an introduction to it. The best part about the workshop was that I have no idea when I learnt what I learnt but I did learn what I was supposed to learn, if that makes any sense.

We started off by a simple task given by our intriguing professor who entangled us into a very simple exercise without us realizing that we were actually doing something that we’ve always just read about- primary research. We were asked to go through the pictures other than advertisements in the any three newspapers that we were asked to bring and categorize them into politics, glamour, sports, crime, civics, education, etc. with a separate gender count in some categories like politics, sports, business, glamour, etc. We were given around 15-20 minutes to do so.

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After those quick passing moments, we were asked to add up our numbers category-wise in groups of 6-10 people and once that was done, we were asked to then add up all the groups’ numbers to arrive on a single count for each category depicting the finds of the entire class.

When, finally, the total numbers were up in front of us, we were asked if we knew what primary research was and that what we did right then was just that. We all started looking at each other and smiling because it was always depicted to us as something that was ambiguous and difficult but in reality, it really wasn’t. But this wasn’t the only thing we learnt in that workshop.

We, then, went on to discuss how drastic and alarming the result of our research turned out to be and how it is really something to ponder about. For example- In sports, though there are 991 males represented in the paper, only 178 females are represented; there were about 1307 pictures about crime, civic, medicine, etc.; though there were about 1110 pictures about glamour there were a meagre amount of 15, 19 and 119 about disability, senior citizens and education respectively.

These drastic numbers made us think that is this really what we are being fed for so many years, is this really what has been shaping our mind? But then, this is not what we want to be fed, then what can we do about it? All of these questions were asked and answered in class that day.

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We, then, moved on to talk about a very important part of the workshop, implicit biases and how and where they originate from, which is from the society we live in, the people we interact with and especially (and most dangerously) from the media, which we just proved with our recent research. Over time, the thoughts that we read about or listen or watch on television get so ingrained in us, that they are activated automatically without us even knowing about them which is again, very dangerous.

One of the ways through which one can find out more about their implicit biases is through a test developed by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji called the ‘Implicit Association Test’ (IAT). Taking even some parts of this test, opened my eyes towards aspects of myself that I didn’t even know about.

Does this make you wonder? About the implicit biases that might be existing inside of you? About how media and everything we see, hear or read is changing who we are without us even knowing about it? Please do feel free to flow your thoughts onto the comment section below. If you liked this article, please do give it a like, share it with your family and friends and also do not forget to follow my blog and Instagram handle for any further blog updates. See you next time! Till then, always remember, Be brave. Be strong. Be great.

P. S. ~ All the photographs used in this blog post are clicked by the talented Trisha Bharti ~

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“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy Parker

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Lifestyle | Self-growth

Storyteller at my core & writer at my front, I'm here to share stories with you that help you see the magic in the world.💛


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