Archive for the ‘bias’ tag
A really interesting phenomenon I’d never considered but totally believe:
The way we think about the significance of public events has more to do with the timeline of our own lives than the historical impact of the event. Logically, the distribution of public events should be pretty constant throughout a person’s lifetime, but people tend to ascribe greater significance to events that occurred in their own adolescence or early adulthood.
Jay Rosen asked himself some questions (over a year ago) about an idea he’s trying to spread about the American journalistic style:
In pro journalism, American style, the View from Nowhere is a bid for trust that advertises the viewlessness of the news producer. Frequently it places the journalist between polarized extremes, and calls that neither-nor position “impartial.”
The initial idea is good, but the fleshing-out is worth sticking around for.
(via Chairman Gruber)
This is a potent point:
One of the themes in my forthcoming book is that there are huge vested interests trying to prevent good news reaching the public. That is to say, in the ruthless free-market struggle that goes on between pressure groups for media attention and funds, nobody likes to have it said that `their’ problem is not urgent and getting worse.
(via Lone Gunman)
Uncommon Knowledge highlights interesting facts about the Olympics. This one was new to me:
the disruptions in the host city - or at least the perception of disruptions - are actually a major boon to competing locales. In 2002, the year Utah hosted the Winter Olympics, counties with ski resorts in Colorado netted an additional $160 million in retail sales, according to sales-tax data.
This on isn’t surprising, but it’s still interesting:
Male athletes were seen as more composed and intelligent in victory, and less committed in defeat. Female athletes were seen as more courageous in victory, and weaker athletes in defeat. A similar pattern was found [in NBC’s coverage] with regard to nationality. Americans were seen as having more concentration, composure, commitment, and courage in victory, while non-Americans were granted more athletic skill. The authors note that “parallels between long-held racial stereotypes (e.g., blacks being ‘born’ athletes and whites being superior intellectually) may transfer in similar ways within the domain of nationalism.”
It turns out everyone sees themselves as an above-average driver because we naturally consider individuals as more impressive than groups.
…we find it easier to consider the favourable evidence for a single person than we do for a whole group. Consistent with this is the finding that people tend to be biased when comparing any single individual, not just themselves, against a group of others.
(via Marginal Revolution)
This isn’t actually surprising, but now there’s scientific evidence that it’s true.
it appears that even brief exposure to “outed” gays and lesbians can have a significant impact on bias — both implicit and explicit. It’s no small wonder, then, that anti-gay activists would prefer for famous gays and lesbians not to publicly out themselves, and for news organizations to sweep this information under the rug.
It was the best title I could muster… Nicholas Kristof wrote a column yesterday that mentioned a test I’d never tried. (I would have linked to it yesterday, but the site was New York Times‘d.) You’re shown black and white men holding either guns or cellphones. You’re supposed to shoot those with guns and holster your weapon for those with a cellphone. It’s goal is to test if your response times differ because the men’s race. Such a difference is seen as proof of an “implicit” bias that you probably didn’t know you had. It’s the same purpose as these tests, which I had seen before.
The same people who brought you crowdsourced color names, have crowdsourced the evaluation of media bias. Their results look interesting, even if I’m not sure they’re trustworthy. (It appears they let people know the source of the story, which could very well change their perception of that story’s bias.)