Quiz Answers & Explanations

 

Complete the quiz before reading this page

 

How to Score the Quiz:  Give yourself 0 points if your answer matches the first answer in the Possible Answers column, 2 points for the second answer, and 3 points for the third answer - except question 7 where the third answer scores 2 points.

 

Your total score will range from 0 to 20 points. 5 points and below means you have a lower bias potential than most people. 11 points and above suggests you should study the Explanation Table directly below as well as the "More About Biases", and quotes about bias, below the Table.  


Question Explanation for Answers Relevant Link

1: Can you fully explain why you trust the things that you believe are correct & true? 

If you can't pinpoint how you acquired your own beliefs, how can you be sure they have any relation to reality - and are hence biased 

 

The Bias Problem 

 

 

2:   Have you experienced significant and prolonged destabilizing events in your life? 

If you need to focus too much on your own issues then it is more likely you will fail to look at things from the perspective of others with different issues than yourself 

The  Bias Reflexes 

 

 

3: Can you explain the various biases in all forms of media, entertainments, & advertisements of products?

The various forms of media are awash in biases. Without this awareness you will almost certainly fall prey to the biases of those who's job it is to fool you! 

 

History of Media Bias

 

 

4: Do you have a compulsion for the respect of your peers; or a wish to be cool?

Wanting respect, and to be considered cool, is the ideal way to acquire the same thinking and biases of those in your peer group, or may want to influence you 

The Big Three Biases

 

5: Can you explain how & why you believe what is morally right and wrong so you can then judge the beliefs of others?

To evaluate the morality of other people requires wisdom. Not knowing the foundations of your own beliefs suggests the absence of wisdom. Believing you never judge others is fooling yourself - an aspect of being biased.

Bias & Religion

 

  

 

6: Can you explain which of your opinions and scientific knowledge you consider to be biased? 

Self-awareness is a crucial part of escaping biases.  As science is full of subtle biases simply saying you trust science is no guarantee against being biased

 

Bias in Science

 

 

7: Do you think you can reduce your biases only by being empathetic, kind, fair, and open-minded? Empathy and kindness require biases towards others. Fairness will be based upon your current biases. Having an open-mind will also open your mind to other people's biases

Bias Flags

 

 


MORE ABOUT BIASES

The specifics of biased thoughts and behaviour can be surreptitiously determined by a lack of knowledge; a lack of time, awareness, or attention; our own goals and egos; and most importantly by accepting the unhelpful biases of others. See more at The Bias Reflexes

 

These influences mean our susceptibility to being exceedingly biased is a far-reaching and critical issue; and is not something to be ignored or taken lightly. Bias Management techniques are available but they require significantly more knowledge, time and effort than a naïve resolution to be impartial and fair-minded.  The Mini-Quiz below hints at other traits that affect one's bias potential.

 

Mini-Quiz

Ask yourself if you have any of the following ten traits which suggest a high bias potential:  

 

Infrequently attempt to find contrary evidence

Tend to want to change the opinion of others

Infrequently explain your opinions in detail

Infrequently ask for contrary information

Hold firm opinions on little information

Have difficulty shifting perspective

Talk (tell) more than listen

Express opinions as facts 

Frequently interrupt

Use clichés

   

The first principle (of knowing truth and avoiding bias) is that you must not fool yourself; and you are the easiest person to fool

Richard Feynman, renowned physicist

 

The only way to test a belief (hypothesis) is to look for all the information that disagrees with it

Karl Popper, philosopher of science 

  


Managing bias demands specific knowledge and intensive practice. The best place to start is to avoid any desire for recognition, control the need to conform to the ideas of others, and to never try to influence others. Listening carefully to others can also mitigate bias

 

We have found self-regard, being judgmental, or wanting to get ones own way, will always eclipse empathy, education, or intelligence. We have also observed that people's solutions for bias dominated by a single criterion (e.g.: an ideology; egotism, sympathy) can substitute a problem bias with another equally stubborn and challenging bias 

___________________

The problem isn't that [many people] can't ...think well; the problem is [they] don't know what thinking is; they confuse it with feeling   

It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.  

Comments by economist & social theorist Dr. Thomas Sowell that relate to bias  

 

Critical thinking, combined with the avoidance of bias, requires much more than a kind heart and an open mind. It demands, the application of formal logic, a consistency in one's evaluations, an attention to the many relevant details - all topped off with, honesty, and above all,  a consciousness of one's limitations.  Cultivate these qualities in yourself and look for them in those who offer you their opinions