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"Bias" is not a four-letter word

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Bias has gotten a bad rap lately and undeservedly so.

People talk, for example, about someone failing a test because the questions were biased.

Of course tests are biased! That is the whole reason that tests exist. Math tests, for example, are biased in favor of those who are good with numbers. History tests are likewise biased in favor of those with knowledge of past events. Why would we want it any other way?

And take job interviews … they are unquestionably biased in favor of those whose skills are relevant for the job. How else should a candidate be chosen?

Mothers may think their daughters are the sweetest, prettiest, most intelligent children in the universe.

Is it true?

Almost certainly not.

But thank God most mothers are biased in favor of their own children, and blind to their imperfections. It hardly does a child any good to grow up thinking she’s ugly, annoying and stupid. A mother’s bias, is, in a sense, a child’s saving grace. The fact that she is being raised in an environment that promotes self-confidence is one of the leading harbingers of future success.

So, not only are bias-bashers misinformed, bias is actually a crucial component of a healthy society.

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