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Lingo Cards (Some rights reserved)

Bias = Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair

Also see: confirmation bias

Anyone who reads or sees any news material and says ‘This is objective.’ has just defined their own parameters of bias. What they are really saying is this guy thinks like me. Unless you are reading things that provoke and surprise you, you are being socialized, not educated. – Mercedes de Uriarte

Of the dozen types of cognitive biases — e.g. “confirmation bias” is the tendency to agree with people who agree with us — there’s one bias that strikes me as potentially useful. “Observational selection bias” occurs when we experience something new, then start noticing it more often, thus fooling ourselves into thinking the frequency has grown. (This happened to me when I bought a blue Honda Fit last year, now notice them constantly.) Taken another way, this can become a “positive travel bias.” When we travel and experience people and cultures different to us, they become familiar and real. When news headlines or blanket politics smear otherwise far-away issues, we increasingly recognize the individual affected. So when political leaders smear all Latin American immigrants as “murderers and rapists,” or even when a traveler calls an innocent local a “bad person,” we recognize it to be unfair, untrue, unjust. Travel teaches us this once we’ve left beach resorts or hostel lounges or tour buses — and befriend locals on their own terms we return to our homes better able to put ourselves in others’ shoes. – Robert Reid, Transitions Abroad


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