Skip to Main Content

Bias: Bias Overview

What is Bias?

Bias: an inclination of temperament or outlook especially : a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment : prejudice Source: Merriam Webster

What is the difference between Bias and Fake news you might ask?  Biased sources are not lies, however they do not give you all of the facts. When you are biased you only give the information needed to prove your point.

Be a Bias Buster!

Questions to ask about the source (book, website, magazine, journal, or newspaper):

  • What is the purpose of the source? (Does it inform, persuade, present opinions, report research, or sell a product?

  • Who is the publisher of the source? (Is it an organization, association, or company?)

  • Who is the intended audience of the source? (Is it for the general population or for a select group of people?)

  • Where is it published? (Is it local, regional, national, or international?)

Questions to ask about a specific article or landing website:

  • Who is the author? (Is an author identified? Are any credentials listed? Is the author qualified to speak on this topic? What other topics has the author written about? Does the author belong to a partisan organization that may influence point of view?)

  • What is the purpose of the article? (Is it a review, commentary, editorial, informative article, research article, etc.?)

  • What kind of supporting material is offered? (Does the author quote research studies, statistics, or use personal anecdotes or experiences? Is logic applied when drawing conclusions? Are deceptive arguments used?)

  • What kind of language is used in the article? (Are inflammatory, loaded, or emotionally-charged words used?)

Additional links that help us think about bias:

Bias Belief

Webcomic depicting someone clicking on the first link to come up that agrees with them, and not looking at opposing points of view

12 Cognitive Biases

Unpacking the Bias that Shape our Belief

Books on Bias