Bias – “a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation” Arcus Dictionary.
What’s the driving force behind emphatic statements such as “I hate Cats?”
My response to people with this bias is – “can’t you simply agree to get along?”
A favourite explanation for cat hating is that cats kill native species – and you can’t argue with that, but the bias isn’t in the lack of factuality, but in the lack of rationality and objectivity.
Negative bias is always fuelled by indignant justification.
I’m sure the native birds and lizards if questioned would prefer to take their chances with cats rather than bulldozers and treeless home allotments.
Of course cats may have a bias or two of their own and in fairness might like to ask where cat haters live and what they eat.
Cats might also suggest that cat haters have no need to hunt either, having supermarkets and all, but many do enjoy hunting and fishing as well as the food placed in their bowls.
Round and round we go with every idea, with every choice, with every opinion, love this/hate that/ this is right/that’s wrong/believe/disbelieve.
It takes a great deal of honesty to get down to the nuts and bolts of each individual bias and see it for what it truly is, but only love and acceptance make room in our shared world for things we may have no personal time or use for.
I leave you with a quote from Martha Beck: “My point is that perceptual bias can affect nut jobs and scientists alike.
If we hold too rigidly to what we think we know, we ignore or avoid evidence of anything that might change our mind.

Kay Sharp. ©2013

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