When people think of bias, they commonly think of negative biases. But bias isn’t just about ‘disliking’ someone, or something. Although bias can be about disliking certain groups, or types of individuals, bias is also about favoring those groups or individuals.
You may think that you are free of bias because you don’t negatively judge someone based on their race, gender, sexuality, or nationality, but have you ever favored someone based on those things? If so, you have allowed your unconscious biases to affect your decision making.
When we favor individuals or groups, they are often the ones we belong to. We can also be influenced by society to favor one group over another, or by causes that push hard to favor a disadvantaged group in an attempt to right society’s wrongs.
To surface your own biases, you can start by examining whom you might be inclined to favor or to overlook. By examining these biases, you can help to fact check your assumptions and limit negative impacts.