Do you know that even if you provide a balanced and even-handed account to a person, that person has a higher tendency to still accuse you of being biased? According to the book, The Wisest One in The Room Harnessing Psychology’s Most Powerful Insights, an experiment was conducted: 

2 groups of subjects, differing in their stand on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, watched the same video commentating on the conflict. The 2 groups judged the video as biased. After which, the researchers showed them another video with an even-handed (meaning a mix of same number of comments from both sides of the conflict) account of the conflict, and both sides called the video bias.

The experiment clearly showed the high tendency for any normal person to alert the bias police unless the other party agrees to his or her viewpoint vehemently. This is “because people tend to think of their own take on events not as a “take” but as a veridical assessment of what is taking place, anyone who tries to offer an even-handed account of what is taking place will tend to be seen as biased and hostile to the perceiver’s interests.” (Gilovich and Ross, 2015)

So besides recognizing that we are more blind to our own biases as advised in the previous post, we need to recognize our failure to be neutral naturally. If someone proposes a viewpoint that differs from our viewpoint , we should not  roll our eyes and instinctively call it bias without assessing the viewpoint rationally. After all, we are all fellow naive realists.

Signing off,

Jackson

Bibliography:

Gilovich, T. and Ross, L. (2015) The wisest One in the room: How you can benefit from social psychology’s Five most powerful insights. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Free Press.

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