Personal and political bias can turn a good researcher into a bad one regardless of his or her superior skills or brain. The poor quality of work won’t contribute to the long accumulated body of knowledge done by a group of researchers. Instead, it will only mislead, confuse and hinder the rest of the academicians or truth seekers with their seemingly overconfident but distorted results.
Often, people with bias are not aware of their own judgement or are subconsciously blocking this acknowledgement to overlook their flaws in defense of their self-esteem and social recognition. They may not necessarily develop bias because they are evil. If you look deep enough, sometimes you will see the root that forms their attitude.
Sometimes they have a bias against activities which have been developed by an authority because they have been abused, exploited or disappointed by a previous activity done by a completely different authority in the past. Sometimes they presume that all kinds of cultural changes are bad because they have identified and benefited so much from the cultural forms they have long been practicing, or that they are nostalgic about their childhood when things were much simpler and peaceful, and so anything related to the past seems so beautiful. Living in a modern era often requires constant adjustment to the rapid changes in economic, social and political dimensions. Some people feel outdated and left out when they couldn’t do so, thus reverting back to the golden memories of the old days – their comfort zone.
I’m not saying that these people are bad, for I myself have my own biases, too. And I am fully aware that I do not understand everything that’s going on. But just a contemplation – people do things the way they do with reasons. Understanding those reasons may help us empathize with them, although that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to justify or support their acts against our own ethics or believes. However, understanding and empathy can lead to a healthy dialogue and mutual process based on respect. I also wish that my good friends will gently converse with me to present their ideas like the way I should remember to do, too. I enjoy healthy debates and just talking, sharing thoughts as long as we remember that this does not need to end up with a winner. Good friends will also act a mirror for me to see myself and my biases, but it’s my main responsibility to realize my own.
Just thinking and wondering 🙂