Day 5: Bias

What is bias?

Bias, which typically means prejudice or preference, is characterized as a negative condition that inhibits evaluators or evaluations from finding true, pure, and genuine knowledge. Bias is considered synonymous with subjective, unfair, partial, and prejudiced and is defined as errors based on beliefs or emotions that are wrong or irrelevant and that may adversely affect people and programs.” (Mathison, 2005, n.p.)

In research, “Bias exists in all study designs, and although researchers should attempt to minimise bias, outlining potential sources of bias enables greater critical evaluation of the research findings and conclusions…Clearly articulating the rationale for and choosing an appropriate research design to meet the study aims can reduce common pitfalls in relation to bias.”
(Smith & Noble, 2014, p.100).


If you want to read about bias, why not try…

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

Our review…

It is easy to see why this book won the Royal Society Science Book Prize in 2019, Invisible Women is a highly researched book which discusses an important topic. Caroline Criado Perez exposes gendered data bias and data gaps, from a range of sectors and examples.
For example, discussing how heart attack symptoms in women are missed; women are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed, as many experience symptoms which are not the most well-known. I think this book will make you stop, think and interrogate data for gender bias, I know that it did for me.

Borrow this eBook on BorrowBox here


Biased: The new science of race and inequality by Dr Jennifer Eberhardt

We might think that we treat all people equally, but we don’t. Every day, unconscious biases affect our visual perception, attention, memory and behaviour in ways that are subtle and very difficult to recognise without in-depth scientific studies.
Unconscious biases can be small and insignificant, but they affect every sector of society, leading to enormous disparities, from the classroom to the courtroom to the boardroom.
But unconscious bias is not a sin to be cured, but a universal human condition, and one that can be overcome.


Borrow this eBook on BorrowBox here



Still want to learn more? 

If you want to explore bias further, whether it is for your own research or to learn more, why not explore it on Sage Research Methods?
Sage Research Methods is a specialist collection for researchers containing 1,000+ key books on research methods, ethics, and specific quantitative and qualitative methods. It also includes journal articles, a dictionary, case studies, video tutorials, a project planner tool, and practice datasets.



Mathison, S. (2005). Bias. In S. Mathison (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Evaluation [Sage Research Methods version]. Retrieved from 

Smith, J., & Noble, H. (2014). Bias in research. Evidence-based Nursing, 17(4), 100-101.


For more resources to support your wellbeing, try another of the 12 Days of Christmas. 

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