We all probably face unconscious judgements when meeting other people. We like to think that we treat all people fairly, but we have a tendency to prejudge our perceptions of people based on gender, ethnicity, functional ability, age, sexual orientation and gender expression – and more. If you want to explore your own bias further, you can start by reading this article, Are You Biased?, written by the Art of Balance (Balasekunst), a Norwegian association working to promote equality and diversity in the arts. 

Are You Biased? 

by The Art of Balance (Balansekunst): Eivind Breilid, Sahra Torjussen,
Siri Haugan Holden, Victoria Øverby Steinland

“Bias” is when we allow our personal feelings and opinions to influence how we think and understand the world around us. Without thinking about it, we view the world with preferences and favouritism. One could say that bias is a fallacy of thought: we understand and interpret the world in a way that is not entirely in line with the truth.

Studies show that we all make unconscious judgments when meeting other people. We like to think that we treat all people fairly. “I do not care about gender” one might say, sincerely thinking that gender does not influence how we interact with people around us. Nevertheless, a number of studies show that most of us display unconscious prejudice in how we perceive people based on: gender, ethnicity, functional ability, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, and more.

Stereotypes, prejudices, and perceptions that we distance ourselves from in our conscious thoughts can still affect how we unconsciously perceive and meet other people and how we look at ourselves. The influence of Society on our perceptions – the norms and images we see around us – govern how we categorise information. Our biases are thus shaped by our surroundings. 

Everyone is biased in some way, and this can be uncomfortable for us to think about. Fortunately, bias can be challenged. The first step is to acknowledge that these judgments are happening. We have collected examples of research that highlight biases in relation to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, and functional ability. […]

Disclaimer: The article was originally written in Norwegian and was translated from Norwegian to English by ConductIT. Minor misunderstandings or misinterpretations caused by language barriers may occur.

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