Social Biases and Strategies to Overcome Them

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Prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination are the supporters of life in any society. Unfortunately, it is difficult to imagine a country free from these social biases as either at work or in everyday life people face this problem. Prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination are three most spread types of social biases people face with. There are a number of specific differences which differentiate these types of biases from each other. It should be mentioned that the society where people live affect human understanding of social biases and affect their lives greatly. Changing environment people rarely change their considerations at once, however, having lived for some time in a new environment new bias becomes inherent to a person. Nevertheless, there are several strategies which may be referred to in case employees cannot reject from their biases or another situation requires fast and effective actions in order to overcome social biases.

The Concepts of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination

Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination are directed at the specific behavior of people based on their considerations which makes a person consider oneself better or higher in the social ladder than others. Even though prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination have similar nature, these notions differ greatly. Prejudice is considered as a specific type of behavior when a person acts on the basis of preconceived ideas he/she has about a person or a group of people. Stereotyping is an application of the universal knowledge in accordance to a person or a group of people without having a desire to create personal opinion about a person or a group of people and to treat them in accordance with personal considerations. Discrimination is the most severe social bias it is considered as the denial of equal rights between all people. Discrimination is based on prejudice and biases. The main difference between discrimination and prejudice and stereotyping is that discrimination is an application of the beliefs which are the result of prejudice and stereotyping (Fiske, 2000).

For example, a negative relation to African-Americans, constant notice of their differences in ethnics and the color of skin, the desire to find faults and constant reminding of their slavery in the past are considered to be the most visible sings of discrimination. Stereotyping is when people do not have any relation to those who they consider unequal, but they do believe n such a way because others are sure in it. Thus, there is a stereotype that women are not good in ruling the company, however, this is just the belief of some people who faced such situations when a woman was not good in running the company. Prejudice is the way of human belief. For example, some White people may be prejudiced to drink from one and the same fountain with a Black person.

The Differences between Subtle and Blatant Bias

Biases are biased and it is impossible to refuse this fact, however, there is important to state that there are two different types of bias presentation subtle and blatant. First, there are people who are sure that they treat all people equally and they do not have any types of biases, however, when they face some particular situations, these people become prejudiced in relation to others, and they discriminate them or treat in accordance with the formulated stereotypes. This is subtle bias. Second, there are people who do not deny their biases and this way of expression of a bias is called blatant one. Fiske (2009) calls biased people as those who misunderstand others but enhance themselves. Speaking about discrimination, these people are sure that they are not biased and that they cannot understand those who discriminate others. These people are sure that they do not have stereotypes and they will never behave in a prejudiced manner.

However, when such people face the situations which require their unbiased treatment, they appear in a problem as in reality these people are prejudiced and they discriminate others. One of the main examples is the discrimination of African-Americans. Many people say that they do not threat others as different and they consider all people as equal. However, when it comes to the real situation and people face such issues as marriage with a person of another ethnicity or another similar event, people become biased. This is a problem as considering themselves free from prejudice, people become racist or express other types of biases without being aware of their personal belonging to biased people. Another group of people directly state about their biased attitude to those who do not belong to their characteristics. These people treat others as a second sort of people and who do not have the right to be equally considered.

The Impact of Bias on the Lives of Individuals

Biases affect both, those who are biased and those who have biased relation to others. Discrimination is the expression of personal negative emotions in relation to others, therefore, people are affected by negative emotions which negatively affect human beings. Much research has been devoted to the consideration of the negative emotions on people. Bunnell (2007) has conducted a research related to the relation between abuse and memory. The relation is direct, people want to forget the fact of abuse and they usually forget other related things. Discrimination is the way of expressing human anger, therefore, those who express negative emotions appear in stressful situation as well. Stress negatively affects human organism, therefore, both sides suffer from based relation (Keene, 2011).

Two Strategies to Overcome Social Biases

There are a lot of different ways which may help people overcome biased relation to others. The strategies depend on situation, the discrimination may take place at school, at home, at office, etc. One of the main reasons of discrimination is human ignorance. Educating people correctly may be the main measure which may assist people in reducing their biased attitude. Moreover, there are cases when people are brought up on stereotyping and they do not have wider vision of the situation, in this case they behave as they are taught. Still, this is wrong. Wide education creates well-rounded people free from social biases (Fiske, 2002).

Another strategy which may be used for reducing biased attitude is to make a person to spend some time with the one who is prejudiced. It is very important to show one who has biased attitude to one particular group of people that they are similar, that there is no any difference in communication and other features. Gender and ethnical discrimination may be reduced by creating the situation where one who has biased attitude is shown that the difference is absent.


Therefore, it may be concluded that even though that democratic relations are central in the modern world and there is a tendency to consider all people as equal, there are the remnants of biased relations. Some people consider themselves as biased, others do not, but still discrimination remains one of the most important problems which is to be considered. Besides, there are measures which may be taken.

Reference List

Bunnell, S. L. (2007). The Impact of Abuse Exposure on Memory Processes and Attentional Biases in a College-aged Sample. Lawrence: ProQuest.

Fiske, S. T. (2000). Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination at the seam between the centuries: evolution, culture, mind, and brain. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 299-322.

Fiske, S. T. (2002).What we know now about bias and intergroup conflict, the problem of the century. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11(4), 123-128.

Fiske, S. T. (2009). Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Keene, S. (2011). Social Bias: Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination. Journal of Law Enforcement, 1(3), 1-5.

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