Speaking of conflict, the word bias can be defined as a mental tendency or inclination, or a preference that inhibits impartial judgment. Studies suggest that the human brain has a built-in bias for being more comfortable around whatever is familiar, like it. Some say the fastest judgment a brain ever makes when it first sees someone or something is: “This is like me, this is familiar,” or “This is not like me, this is unfamiliar.” When I meet another human being for the first time, my brain instantly catalogs a myriad of comparisons, whether that person is:
· Like me (female) or different (male)
· Short like me or tall
· Of European ancestry like me or not
· Wearing similar clothing to me or not
· And so on and so on…
Prejudice is a separate concept from bias. Part 2 next week.