How biased are you

Biased: definition, cons, test

Biased: Whether privately or at work: We all want to be treated fairly. Not only does it make you angry, but it also turns every cell in the body into a defiant state when we feel that we are being criticized, ignored, or otherwise badly treated for no apparent reason. It is even worse when only you receive such negative special treatment yourself. Clearly: someone seems to have something against you personally. This is annoying, but unfortunately happens again and again - and you should too Don't absolve yourself of all guilt right away. You just can't get along with some colleagues and contemporaries and are biased towards them. We explain what it means to be biased and have prepared a self-test in which you can find out whether you treat your fellow human beings differently and biased ...

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Biased: what does it mean to be biased?

It's easy to call someone biased. A small difference of opinion can be enough and we already assume that the other is ours Arguments not given a chance at all has and just remains stubborn. Being stubborn, however, should not be confused or equated with bias.

But what exactly does it mean to be biased? In most cases it is said that people are biased with ready-made opinions run around the world. Instead of forming a picture for yourself and developing your own opinion about it, clichés, rumors or even snapped reports and information are used to shape your own attitude. A real discussion of the topic does not take place. The most commonly used synonyms are biased, partial, prejudicial or not neutral.

A classic example From the professional world: Your department is getting a new manager because the ex-boss has been promoted to senior management. Even before it has its first day, you hear from several colleagues that this is a narcissistic bastard who takes advantage of his employees, who is unfriendly, who takes overtime for granted and already had the reputation of a tyrant in his last team.

Anyone who listens to what others say is immediately biased. The new boss doesn't get a chance at all, but is stamped from the start. If, on the other hand, you were to make up your own mind, you might find that you are actually getting along quite well with him and that all the rumors are totally exaggerated or simply not true. This also shows the same Cons of Bias:

  • You only rely on others.

    Sure, sometimes the others are right too, but it is very daring to always only rely on others to tell the truth. And even if that's true, people are different and you may not agree with what others think.

  • You can be manipulated.

    At the latest when those around you notices how much you allow yourself to be influenced by such information, you run the risk of others manipulating you in a targeted manner. If you are biased, you can be played off against others by persuading you to do something.

  • You don't learn to form your own opinion.

    It is not that easy to form your own opinion and to be able to defend it. Most of all, it takes confidence and practice. If you are biased in every way, you will never learn the ability to form your own opinion on a subject.

Despite these disadvantages, many people are biased - even if you don't want to admit it yourself. This can also be seen in the example above: whether you like it or not, have you ever heard the rumors and apparent information about the new boss, these buzz in the back of the head around and want to be refuted first.

Such Things cannot be left unheard And that is how quickly an otherwise unprejudiced person gets into the problem of prejudices.

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Bias disturbs the community

We all have our drawers in mind that are supposed to make thinking easier. Everything is perceived in categories and added to the existing image that we already have pre-made and always ready in the back of our minds. What sounds so useful, however, has some dangers, because not everyone fits into a drawer and you certainly don't want to be stuffed into one of these.

Prejudice is not based solely on prejudices and clichés, it can also be based directly on the behavior of another person be. If a colleague has not been convincing with competence and commitment in a joint project, for example, but was mainly noticed by his pronounced laziness and lack of knowledge, most people will meet him differently in the future. The same applies if someone has made a stupid saying or made a comment that we did not agree with at all. Even if we don't necessarily want to admit it, in such cases we are biased towards further contact - even if the person concerned has only misbehaved once and never again is guilty of anything.

The problem: From now on, the other person feels - whether rightly or wrongly - treated unfairly and perhaps even excluded. He may not understand why you are so dismissive of him when you get on well with everyone else and are known to be nice company. In the worst case scenario, the entire group breaks apart when different camps form. Of course, it's never your own fault - or is it? You can find out how biased you are by taking our self-test.

Are you biased? Take the test

The self-test consists of a total of five questions.. A different number of points is given for the answers. Please add these together. At the end you get to the evaluation based on your score.

As always at this point our hint and the request: Try to answer the questions as honestly as possible and choose the alternatives that actually apply to you and your situation. The aim is to get as realistic an assessment of yourself as possible and not to achieve a particularly good result.

  1. Are you able to forgive others' mistakes and missteps?

  • That depends on the situation. If someone really misbehaved, I find it very difficult to forgive others. (2 p.)
  • In all fairness, I would rather call myself resentful. I don't hold it open to everyone, but I still know very well what happened. (3 p.)
  • I hate turning a mosquito into an elephant. Everyone has a bad day or gets mixed up in tone. Forgive and forget… (1 P.)
  • Do you have prejudices against certain people? For example blondes or particularly young colleagues?

    • I keep catching myself resorting to prejudice and perhaps judging people a little too quickly. (3 p.)
    • I am proud to say that I try to be completely open to everyone. Everyone gets the same chance from me. (1 P.)
    • I don't think you can completely defend yourself against it, but I try not to let prejudices influence me. (2 p.)
  • Do you have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong?

    • Yes, but I don't want to impose my ideas on others. (1 P.)
    • Yes, but with some things I am quite willing to compromise and can accept other opinions. (2 p.)
    • Yes, I have a clear idea of ​​what is important to me and what values ​​and characteristics I expect from myself and others. (3 p.)
  • Do you often see yourself in competition with others and make comparisons?

    • I can hardly lose and see direct or indirect competition in everything. Wherever possible, I want to be better than others. (3 p.)
    • I already see myself in competition with my colleagues, but in my private life I don't compare myself to friends or family members. (2 p.)
    • I can use role models as inspiration, but I don't believe that there is any point in constantly comparing yourself with others. (1 P.)
  • Do you get to know new people quickly?

    • I really enjoy making new contacts, I like different people, I enjoy approaching others and I make new friends very quickly. (1 P.)
    • I have my personal circle of friends and a professional network. However, I find it difficult to expand this. (3 p.)
    • I wouldn't necessarily say fast, but I don't really have any problems with new contacts either.(2 p.)

    Are you biased? Evaluation of the self-test

    How many points did your answers give you? You can find the corresponding resolutions here!

    • 5 to 8 points: Biased? For you, at most one topic on the sidelines. They really treat everyone the same, regardless of whether they like them from the start or if they made a mistake towards you at some point. With your nature you make it easy for everyone to get along well with you and you generally contribute to a positive atmosphere - be it at work or in private. But be careful not to step on your feet too often or even allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Sometimes you have to learn to say no.
    • 9 to 12 points: You landed in the healthy midfield. You are not overly biased, but you can form an opinion about different people if they give you a reason to do so. Learn to distinguish when it is appropriate to meet someone with additional skepticism and suspicion and when more openness is required - then you are on the right track.
    • 13 to 15 points: Your answers indicate that you are very biased and that you are making it very difficult for those around you. You have prejudices, firm opinions and drawers from which you cannot deviate. Your favorite colleagues and good friends treat you particularly well. You don't like someone, but let them feel it too. Try to be more open to others, sometimes to forgive or to question and rethink your opinions.

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    17th September 2020Author: Nils Warkentin

    Nils Warkentin studied business administration at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. On the career bible, he is devoted to topics related to studies, career entry and everyday office life.

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