Cultural bias

Cultural bias is the phenomenon of interpreting and judging phenomena by standards inherent to one's own culture. The phenomenon is sometimes considered a problem central to social and human sciences, such as economics, psychology, anthropology, and sociology. Some practitioners of the aforementioned fields have attempted to develop methods and theories to compensate for or a culture make assumptions about conventions, including conventions of language, notation, proof and evidence. They are then accused of mistaking these assumptions for laws of logic or nature. Numerous such biases exist, concerning cultural norms for color, location of body parts, mate selection, concepts of justice, linguistic and logical validity, acceptability of evidence, and taboos. Cultural bias extends on many more fields in the globalizing world. Ordinary people may tend to imagine other people as basically the same, not significantly more or less valuable, probably attached emotionally to different groups and different land.

Contents

  • Examples 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4

Examples

People who read English often assume that it is natural to scan a visual field from left to right and from top to bottom. In the United States it is typical for the "on" position of a toggle switch to be "up", whereas in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand it is "down." Also, in these countries, North is the top of a map, up is usually the larger quantity and better, as well. As another example, Japanese do not place an X in a check-box to indicate acceptance—this indicates refusal.

These conventions are generally useful, as once one is used to light switches behaving a certain way one does not need to learn a per-light switch rule but just a general rule. Unfortunately, when people move between cultures or design something for a different group they often do not attend to which conventions remain and which change.

Linguistic and ethnic groups often do not share these notational assumptions. Notational and operative assumptions can change control systems if the users implement, from a different culture than the designers, funnel interpretations from their original world view. Safety-critical systems, according to Seidner (pp. 5–7), become responses to threats of control. Through the emergence of majority and minority categories in society, cultural biases ensue.

Cultural bias has been observed against African American minorities in standardized SAT tests.[1]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/06/21/sat#sthash.X7DkdNpH.dpbs

References

  • Douglas, Mary (1982). "Cultural Bias," in: Douglas, M.: In the Active Voice, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; 183-254.
  • Seidner, Stanley S.(1982). Ethnicity, Language, and Power from a Psycholinguistic Perspective. Bruxelles: Centre de recherche sur le pluralinguisme.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.