Bias is a pre-judgement, positive or negative. The stereotype is an overgeneralization you form of a group of people based on shared characteristics. Bias may begin as a stereotype, but it can become an independent opinion later on.
In order to gain knowledge about someone or something, you must look beyond bias and stereotypes that are commonly offered by the masses. So what’s the difference between these two? It’s important to know where they lie in order to benefit yourself and others around you. Lets dive deeper into bias vs stereotype.
What is a bias?
Bias is not a theory or an assessment. It is our own pre-judgement on something that may or may not be true. Bias is the tendency to perceive information in a certain way. For example, someone with a bias against foreigners may think foreigners are generally rude by their mannerisms, even though they are actually nice people.
Bias can also happen unconsciously, based on our past experiences. It can even happen in a non-situational context, such as when you don’t like a song the first time you hear it, but after listening to it many more times you realize you actually like it.
What is a stereotype?
A stereotype is an overgeneralization formed about an entire group of people based on shared characteristics or experiences. For example, we tend to think all French people speak with a sexy accent, and we think all Italians are good at making pizzas.
It is important to note that stereotypes are based on our perception, not reality. There is no such thing as a universal truth – people’s experiences and backgrounds play a huge role in the type of person and person they become. Asians Asians generally do well in academics. It’s generally accepted that Asian kids get good grades simply because they’re smart, but the reason why we tend to think Asian people show exceptional academic talents isn’t because we see them excel intellectually; we see their success as a direct result of their intelligence. This leads us to have a bias towards Asians that is generally positive.
Stereotypes can also be harmful, especially in the workplace. A supervisor may think all female co-workers are weak and unintelligent because of stereotypes about women being unable to keep up with men in terms of work performance.
What are the differences between bias and stereotype?
Bias is an opinion formed about someone or something, based on one’s own perception of that person or thing. Stereotype is our overgeneralization about a group of people based on shared characteristics.
Bias can develop into a stereotype, but not necessarily. Someone may have a bias against someone from another country without being aware of it, but they can become aware of that bias and change it into a more positive opinion if they choose to do so.
Bias may also start as a stereotype, and then evolve into an independent thought if we spend time to get to know someone or something better.
Stereotypes are generally formed on the basis of our observations. We usually develop stereotypes about things or people that are entirely different from our own experiences. For example, if you grew up in New York, you may have a bias against people who live in the South because they seem to be “ignorant” of society‘s ways of living compared to New Yorkers. But if you had grown up in Georgia then you would likely have the opposite bias. Bias is formed through your own experiences, while stereotype is formed on the basis of your idea that “all people from Georgia are like this” without getting to know any of them personally.
If you’re not sure whether what you’re feeling is bias or stereotype, ask yourself why you may feel a certain way about something or someone.
How do I know if my judgement is bias or stereotype?
It is easy to tell if you are judging someone or something by their appearance, based on media portrayals. If you’re not sure whether what you’re feeling is bias or stereotype, ask yourself why you may feel a certain way about something or someone.
If you’re not sure whether you’re forming an opinion on someone by their appearance, ask them about it or ask others who know them to describe them. If they tell you bad things, don’t believe them.
How do I deal with bias?
You can’t change your bias, so it’s important to be aware of it. Take time to think of what you may be biased against. Maybe you’re biased against the city in which you live, or maybe you’re biased against a certain group of people that you hang out with.
If we can’t change our bias, we can learn to control it and develop new opinions towards the people and things we perceive by overcoming biases and stereotypes. Our new opinion is formed based on our perception of the situation and the experiences we have had with that specific person or thing.
But in order to do this, we need to take our time and challenge our own opinions. Instead of immediately reacting the way you would have reacted if you were influenced by your bias, think about it logically. What evidence is there to prove this bias? Why do you think that way? When was the last time you actually experienced something like that?
It’s also important to understand what causes our biases. Why do we have them, and what are the consequences of them, if they exist at all?
It can be difficult to question our own thinking. It can take a little effort, and sometimes this effort is not worth the results. But it’s important to be aware of your biases and think about yourself and how you judge other people or things.
What should I do if I’m biased against someone?
If you’re biased against someone, its important to take those feelings aside and let them go. Those feelings are formed because of your past experiences. There is no reason to hold onto them.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your biases with someone who can give you insight into the issue. It may take time, but you’ll feel better about it in the end. You will probably develop new opinions towards that person or thing that are not formed upon bias, but are based on logic and experience.