Blog post #5

My inquiry question: how are prejudice and bias created?

My current topic is how can we avoid this way of thinking? This is a very important step because by understanding how we can avoid it, we can eliminate these negative thoughts. As I understand why these ways of thinking exist, I want to help others avoid them. Before any research, this is a harmful way because we are over-generalizing people, instead of looking at them for who they are.

 

One way to stop prejudice is to travel around and find out how the values, culture and food are different from our judgement (1). Prejudgement and prejudice are very similar because we are judging something or someone that we are not familiar with. We need to explore to judge them based on real information (1). Secondly, we can learn about the history of prejudice and bias opinions. As we learn more about prejudice and bias, we can know how it impacts everyone and have the motivation to stop it (1). Why would we want to avoid a very easy way of thinking if we don’t realize how problematic it is? A book that I have read that made me realize how important this subject was are: This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes:    How Science Is Tackling Unconscious Bias (2). This book was amazing because it was an engaging book. For example, they told me to draw a math teacher. I drew a nerdy white male with glasses because I believed in the common stereotype (2). However, later in the book, it revealed that this common way of drawing a nerdy white male with glasses was problematic. This common stereotype would discourage girls who want to become a math teacher. They may think, I should change my goal because girls cannot be math teachers (2). Another way to stop prejudice and biased opinions is to think, am I assuming based on proof (3)? Next, we can stop prejudice opinions by standing up whenever we see prejudiced and biased opinions (3). For example, if we see someone saying, “you are not capable of doing this because you are only a girl, not a boy,” we can stand up. We can encourage the victim to ignore the comment and work harder to prove them wrong (3). We need to encourage others to stop prejudice and biased opinions to see the change. This will not work if we stay silent (4).

 

Another way to stop harmful stereotypes is to interact with people who have the same goal to stop prejudiced opinions (5). Spending time with other people who share the same desire to stop prejudice and biased opinions will boost the motivation (5). However, if we spend time with people who love and have no desire to change their prejudiced and biased opinions, our motivation may disappear (5).  After, another helpful tool is to take a test on how stereotypical we are. This will help us fully realize our biased opinions because we are assessing ourselves (6). This helped me immensely because I learned how biased I was. Before I did the test, I thought I had very few to harmful prejudiced thoughts. After I did the test, I realized how I still need to work hard on stopping my prejudiced opinions because I had many unknown biased opinions that may be harmful to others(6).

Finally, we can seek help whenever we are targeted towards prejudiced and biased discrimination. If we stay silent towards ourselves, it may indicate that it is acceptable (7). Some ways we can seek help is through a trusted adult, a therapist or even 911 if it gets very severe (7). Others may not notice how much we are targeted, so we need to stand up for ourselves (7). Another way to seek help is to take a break from social media. Social media may trigger us because of our hurtful experiences (7). For example, if we have witnessed a death because of our color, gender, or culture, it may make us anxious to see the news with the same cases (7).

  1. The top 10 strategies for reducing prejudice. (n.d.). Greater Good. Retrieved January 15, 2023, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/top_10_strategies_for_reducing_prejudice
  2. Kyi, T. L. (2020). This is your brain on stereotypes: How science is tackling unconscious bias. Kids Can Press.
  3. What is prejudice?(n.d.). Verywell Mind. Retrieved January 15, 2023, from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-prejudice-5092657
  4. Kinzler, K. D. (2016, October 21). Opinion | how kids learn prejudice. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/opinion/sunday/how-kids-learn-prejudice.html
  5. Prejudiced thoughts run through all our minds—The key is what we do with them. (2020, August 28). Ted.Com. https://ideas.ted.com/prejudiced-thoughts-run-through-all-our-minds-the-key-is-what-we-do-with-them/
  6. Take a test. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2023, from https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
  7. Prejudice and discrimination – overcoming prejudice. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2023, from https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/prejudice-discrimination/overcome

 

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