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Many people confuse bias with preference, but there is a very clear difference between the two. Preferences are likings for one thing over another. Preferences are based on experiences. For instance, if your family has had both cats and dogs, you have enough experience with both to know which kind of animal or pet you prefer. After having several cats and dogs, you may realize that you like dogs more than cats. You know this because you have interacted with them. On the other hand, bias is having opinions without having previous experience. A bias would be liking dogs over cats without having experience with dogs.
Biases are usually thought of as negative because they are formed without any experience. Many people ask, “How can you have an opinion about something without experiencing it?” How can you know if you like dogs more than cats if you have never had an interaction with a dog? However, some biases can be good for you and others. Maybe you have a bias against fighting without having experience without violence. This is a good bias because it reduces harm and is against something that harms others.
More often than not, biases are opinions about how something or someone is. Going back to our dog vs. cat scenario, someone may have a bias about a certain breed of dog. Someone may think that pitbulls are mean, aggressive, and angry dogs that bite everyone, especially children.
Bias is usually created without us knowing it. The environments we live in, the people we surround ourselves with, our families, our friends, our workplace, our religion, and our social groups are all factors that can influence our opinions and biases. We may get ideas about people and things from these groups of peoples and these environments without realizing it. For instance, two parents may tell their children to stay away from dogs because they are mean and bite. The children in this family will begin to have a bias towards dogs, thinking that they are mean and aggressive. The children in this family will think this without ever meeting a dog, and this is a bias they obtained without knowing it.
Think about your biases regarding the following topics:
-things that happen late at night
-life in another time period/location
-people who are poor
This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use Bias worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of Bias which is when you have a personal opinion for or against something; oftentimes, this opinion on or favor for something is not based on reason or experience.
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These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.