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This article is about the term's general usage. For other uses, see Bias (disambiguation).

Bias is an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective, often accompanied by a refusal to even consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. People may be biased toward or against an individual, a race, a religion, a social class, or a political party. Biased means one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, not having an open mind. Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry.[citation needed]

In the media[edit]

Main article: Media bias

Media bias is the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered. The term "media bias" implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed.

Practical limitations to media neutrality include the inability of journalists to report all available stories and facts, and the requirement that selected facts be linked into a coherent narrative (Newton 1989). Since it is impossible to report everything, selectivity is inevitable. Government influence, including overt and covert censorship, biases the media in some countries. Market forces that result in a biased presentation include the ownership of the news source, concentration of media ownership, the selection of staff, the preferences of an intended audience, and pressure from advertisers.

Political bias has been a feature of the mass media since its birth with the invention of the printing press. The expense of early printing equipment restricted media production to a limited number of people. Historians have found that publishers often served the interests of powerful social groups.[1]

Other aspects[edit]

  • Economic: when people/government interpret a law/contract in their favor for economic reasons.
  • Inductive bias in machine learning.
  • Cultural bias: Interpreting and judging phenomena in terms particular to one's own culture.
  • Racism, regionalism and tribalism: Judging people or phenomena associated with people based on the race/ethnicity, region of origin, or tribe of the people, rather than based on more objective criteria.
  • Sexism: Judging based on gender, rather than on more objective criteria.
  • Sensationalism: Favouring the exceptional over the ordinary. However this sentence structure makes is sound like an appeal to popularity or normalcy fallacy. This is actually a more complex problem, whereby, the proponent elevates the importance of the evidence to more subjects than it is relevant. This is accomplished by willful bias, assumption or, putting conclusion ahead of evidence. In practice, this includes emphasizing, distorting, or fabricating exceptional news stories to boost popularity.
  • Funding bias in scientific studies also known as the agent-principle dilemma (principal–agent problem).
  • Medical bias is also known as a physician having a conflict of interest.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ann Heinrichs, The Printing Press (Inventions That Shaped the World), p. 53, Franklin Watts, 2005, ISBN 0-531-16722-4, ISBN 978-0-531-16722-9
  2. ^ Cain, D.M. and Detsky, A.S. Everyone's a Little Bit Biased (Even Physicians) JAMA 2008;299(24):2893-289.

External links[edit]

Bias, unbiased, and both ; essay : http://biasunbiasedandboth.blogspot.com/

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias — Please support Wikipedia.
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