Bias

In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Malden, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell (forthcoming)

Authors
Daniel Moseley
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Following Kahneman and Tversky, I examine the term ‘bias’ as it is used to refer to systematic errors. Given the central role of error in this understanding of bias, it is helpful to consider what it is to err and to distinguish different kinds of error. I identify two main kinds of error, examine ethical issues that pertain to the relation of these types of error, and explain their moral significance. Next, I provide a four-level explanatory framework for understanding biases: personal, sub-personal, situational, and systemic levels. Finally, I examine some of the ethical complexities involved in attributing biases to oneself and to others.
Keywords bias  error  attributing bias  cognitive bias
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