112 posts tagged with bias.
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Mismeasure remeasured

A Mismeasured Mismeaurement of Man. Stephen Jay Gould's classic The Mismeasure of Man argues that 19th century scientist Samuel George Morton inflicted his own racial biases on his data to demonstrate that Caucasians had larger brains than other races. A new paper in the Public Library of Science: Biology debunks Gould's account by remeasuring the same skulls Morton used. Whatever biases Morton may have had, they are not reflected in the data.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 10, 2011 - 55 comments

A critical moment in statistics

Statistical hypothesis testing with a p-value of less than 0.05 is often used as a gold standard in science, and is required by peer reviewers and journals when stating results. Some statisticians argue that this indicates a cult of significance testing using a frequentist statistical framework that is counterintuitive and misunderstood by many scientists. Biostatisticians have argued that the (over)use of p-vaues come from "the mistaken idea that a single number can capture both the long-run outcomes of an experiment and the evidential meaning of a single result" and identify several other problems with significance testing. XKCD demonstrates how misunderstandings of the nature of the p-value, failure to adjust for multiple comparisons, and the file drawer problem result in likely spurious conclusions being published in the scientific literature and then being distorted further in the popular press. You can simulate a similar situation yourself. John Ioannidis uses problems with significance testing and other statistical concerns to argue, controversially, that "most published research findings are false." Will the use of Bayes factors replace classical hypothesis testing and p-values? Will something else?
posted by grouse on Apr 11, 2011 - 45 comments

The New Jim Crow

“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.” [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Mar 28, 2011 - 143 comments

Schiller's List

The US House of Representatives has voted to cut all federal NPR funding. To take effect, this would still need to make it through the senate, which most likely would not succeed. [more inside]
posted by pla on Mar 17, 2011 - 133 comments

Is Science Saturated with Sexism?

In “Understanding Current Causes of Women’s Underrepresentation in Science,” Cornell professors Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams provide a thorough analysis and discussion of 20 years of data. [more inside]
posted by Tanizaki on Feb 20, 2011 - 103 comments

Is the Academic World Biased Against Conservatives?

Some Social Scientists Claim Pervasive Bias in the Academe Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”
posted by modernnomad on Feb 9, 2011 - 180 comments

“Tell the class what the minority perspective on this is.”

Microaggressions. This blog seeks to provide a visual representation of the everyday of “microaggressions.” Each event, observation and experience posted is not necessarily particularly striking in and of themselves. Often, they are never meant to hurt - acts done with little conscious awareness of their meanings and effects. Instead, their slow accumulation during a childhood and over a lifetime is in part what defines a marginalized experience, making explanation and communication with someone who does not share this identity particularly difficult. Social others are microaggressed hourly, daily, weekly, monthly.
posted by prefpara on Jan 21, 2011 - 56 comments

Philosophers all have long, gray beards!

Professional philosophers have long known that there are far fewer women in philosophy than there are men. (Some quick info.) Recently, this issue has taken center-stage in the philosophy blogosphere. First, a new study suggests that gender plays a role in what intuitions one has to philosophical thought experiments, such as the Gettier cases about knowledge, and The Trolley Problem related to ethics (via). Second, a new blog, What is it like to be a woman in philosophy?, has exploded in popularity as it shows the good, the bad, and the downright ugly involved in being a woman in the profession. [more inside]
posted by meese on Oct 14, 2010 - 37 comments

Religious Search Engines Yield Tailored Results

As reported on NPR's All Tech Considered ("Tech" and "Religion"?) on 9/13. "In a world where Google has put every bit of information at our fingertips, some people are now demanding less information when they surf the Internet" by using religion-based search engines. And folks are worried that Goohoo results might be biased? (SNPRL - Single Nat'l Public Radio Link) [more inside]
posted by Man with Lantern on Sep 14, 2010 - 58 comments

How Facts Backfire

Why having the facts sometimes isn't enough, and what that means for politics and society.
posted by jhandey on Jul 12, 2010 - 61 comments

Metafilter: 56% Conservative Readership

Slate has introduced a tool to analyze the news sites you read online. The tool is based on a paper that studied ideological isolation in news consumption online and off. It analyzes your history to determine which sites you read and looks at readership data to determine how much of an echo chamber, if any, your choice of news sources creates. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Apr 29, 2010 - 72 comments

Objectivity Killed the News Star

"The symbiotic relationship between the press and the power elite worked for nearly a century. It worked as long as our power elite, no matter how ruthless or insensitive, was competent. But once our power elite became incompetent and morally bankrupt, the press, along with the power elite, lost its final vestige of credibility." "The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News" by Chris Hedges.
posted by AugieAugustus on Feb 2, 2010 - 51 comments

Trusting the FOX

Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States, according to a new poll [.pdf] of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling (a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)). The pollsters conclude: “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
posted by washburn on Jan 26, 2010 - 126 comments

Too fat to pass.

25 students at Lincoln University may not graduate, because they failed -- to lose weight. The students are members of "the first graduating class required to either have a BMI below 30 or to take 'Fitness for Life,' a one semester class that mixes exercise, nutritional instruction and discussion of the risks of obesity" in order to graduate from Lincoln. [more inside]
posted by Ouisch on Nov 20, 2009 - 104 comments

Fox "upset-the-White-House-won't-call-it" News

Fox News's bent on the news is well known, but recently the White House has begun actively excluding the network, including skipping Fox's Chris Wallace on a recent round of Sunday morning news shows. “We simply decided to stop abiding by the fiction ... that Fox is a traditional news organization.” says White House Depty Communications Director Pfeiffer (as has Press Secretary Gibbs and others). The responses range from concern about an attempt to control the media to a feeling that it's about time. Is it just about Fox's anti-Obama pundits, or is it also about Fox's consistent errors and misinformed viewership? Or is the White House attempting containment so that Fox's ratings-gold style and ideas don't take over the rest of the press?
posted by ADoubtfulTrout on Oct 23, 2009 - 285 comments

Empathy = ovary?

When President Obama says he's looking for a judge with the "quality of empathy" to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, is it code for a female judge? In the two decades since Bertha Wilson famously asked Will Women Judges Really Make A Difference? (mms), the answer has come back as a resounding yes (studies: 1 (pdf), 2) -- and no (studies: 1 (pdf), 2). But either way, is choosing judges based on supposed gender qualities ever a good idea?
posted by hayvac on May 21, 2009 - 64 comments

Good News, Everyone!

Maybe the world isn't as good as this (more on that), but there's still ... good news, everyone! [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Apr 7, 2009 - 33 comments

Consider my opinion changed.

Overcoming Bias [via]
posted by fantabulous timewaster on Sep 10, 2008 - 26 comments

Olbermann and Matthews demoted

MSNBC is removing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as the anchors of live political events, bowing to growing criticism that they are too opinionated to be seen as neutral in the heat of the presidential campaign.
posted by VicNebulous on Sep 8, 2008 - 270 comments

Trust in Textbooks

The things they teach kids in school today. Details in the pdf. From science to history to law, evidence of increasing political bias in education.
posted by binturong on Apr 7, 2008 - 51 comments

Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid

Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid.
posted by veedubya on Sep 22, 2007 - 56 comments

Race in basketball

Are NBA referees racially biased when calling fouls? In a paper [PDF] released yesterday, economists Wolfers and Price claim that an all-white team would win two extra games over an 82-game season.
posted by Aloysius Bear on May 2, 2007 - 99 comments

Not a first for Imus

Name calling not unusual for Imus Imus has of course made an apology at his blog. And sometime soon, I expect, he will shoot off his big mouth again. His recent offensive remarks are not a new thing for this guy, a pompous "pundit," and simple "sorrys" would be ok except for his history of being a bad human being. And, yes: homophobic remarks too, lest he be accused of being picky in his hate
posted by Postroad on Apr 9, 2007 - 167 comments

What's up with you, Doc?

What's the Trouble? - "How Doctors Think"
posted by Gyan on Mar 21, 2007 - 59 comments

persecution complex? prosecution complex?

The First Freedom Project --new from the Dept of Justice, announced at the Southern Baptist Convention along with a call for their help---specifically and only to protect the religious from discrimination against them. Many are not impressed: The administration has often ignored the importance of the no establishment principle by supporting attempts of governments to endorse a religious message, using tax dollars to fund pervasively religious organizations, allowing religious discrimination in hiring for federally funded projects, ... Legal strategies and actions from groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and ACLJ are now official DOJ policy, it appears. ...In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies ...
posted by amberglow on Feb 23, 2007 - 56 comments

知己知彼,百戰不貽

Why hawks win. How identified predictable errors of judgement favour hawkish policy decisions. Via. Previously.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 13, 2007 - 16 comments

Still, neither Nixon nor Reagan changed the division's procedures for hiring career staff

"If anything, a civil rights background is considered a liability." Meet the politically-appointed career staffers of the Justice Dept.'s Civil Rights Division: ... the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians. ... Thorough Boston Globe article on how the administration disbanded the hiring committee in 2002 to appoint lawyers with a very different vision of what civil rights are, and the ensuring and ongoing results.
posted by amberglow on Jul 23, 2006 - 24 comments

A hate crime in Harlem?

A hate crime in Harlem? Some say it is, some say it isn't. Some are reminded of an incident at Howard Beach in 1986.
posted by anjamu on Apr 10, 2006 - 46 comments

ragnarok now? or is it all just in your head?

Why do we always seem to expect the worst from some people? By now, it's common knowledge that media reports of widespread looting, violence and sexual assault in the wake of Katrina's strike on New Orleans were grossly exaggerated, but why? Some might attribute such distortions to unconscious bias, offering up some hope of alleviating racial tension by bringing unexamined racial biases to light; still others see the problem of racial tension as an intractable one, leading inevitably to an all-out clash of cultures--even finding "evidence" of the inevitably of such a conflict in the unlikeliest of places. Still others seem especially eager to bring all these tensions to a head. What's really going on these days? Is racial tension ultimately a political problem or, as some suggest, a psychological one?
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Oct 21, 2005 - 35 comments

Photographers respond to New Orleans racial bias photos

Looting vs Finding Chris Graythen, an AFP photographer in New Orleans (skip down to his post) who shot the photo of two white people "finding" goods in the floodwaters, defends his caption. "These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. They picked up bread and cokes that were floating in the water." Meanwhile, the editor for the photog of the "looting" image says that he actually saw the looting occur. "'He saw the person go into the shop and take the goods,' Stokes said, 'and that's why he wrote 'looting' in the caption.'"
posted by Brian James on Sep 1, 2005 - 48 comments

somos indios?

El Indio in Hispanic proverbial speech "The proverbial speech of Hispanic America preserves, even today, numerous traces of the interaction between explorers, conquerors, or settlers and the native populations they found in the various regions of the so-called New World"
posted by dhruva on Jul 11, 2005 - 6 comments

Cognitive biases and other fun tricks

You are very bad at making decisions. Welcome to the world of cognitive biases. They are why it is so easy to see conspiracies in the death of microbiologists, to be unaware of how incompetent we are, to regret our bids on eBay, and to be superstitious rationalists. Perhaps you should learn to use them before you are taken in. Finally, cognitive biases are why you will remember the end of this po
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 6, 2005 - 27 comments

Yes, you are biased.

Who do you unconciously hate? The Harvard University implicit bias tests allow you to discover your own implicit stereotypes: age, gender, religion, race -- even politics and presidents. Each test takes about ten minutes, and the results are sometimes surprising. Perhaps announcing your biases should this be the equivalent of the geek code for policy threads.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 2, 2005 - 67 comments

State of the Media

Project for Excellence in Journalism Report NYT: The annual Project for Excellence in Journalism report on the state of the media says that the use of anonymous sources in newspapers has dropped significantly over the last year. USAT: Non-traditional media gaining ground, consumers. LAT: Study warns of "junk news" diet. E&P: Survey finds newspapers slipping, facing cutbacks. WaPo: Study finds no shortage of opinion on Fox News.
posted by psmealey on Mar 14, 2005 - 8 comments

ConservativeAlgorithm

Google News Bias. How second tier websites are gaming the Google News Enging.
posted by srboisvert on Sep 24, 2004 - 23 comments

Does a bear shit in the woods? Of course it does.

Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? Of course it is. By Daniel Okrent, New York Times Ombudsman Public Editor. (reg. req'd)
posted by pardonyou? on Jul 26, 2004 - 39 comments

Unger chews Isikoff a new one

The Newsweek-Fahrenheit wars - Michael Isikoff's "seven errors, distortions and selective omissions of crucial information" detailed by Craig Unger, "House of Bush, House of Saud" author (read excerpts of his book at Salon.com, for members or by a "day pass") Isikoff has heavily cited Unger's book but, it seems, not bothered to read Unger's generously provided source files. "Liberal" PBS is not excluded, as credulous (or ignorant) "On the Media" host Bob Garfield's July 2 interview with Isikoff demonstrates. What shall we call such pervasive, ongoing and seemingly willful patterns of inaccuracy, distortion, and selective omission?
posted by troutfishing on Jul 7, 2004 - 34 comments

Toxic livers vs. toxic minds

Reading With the Enemy - "Inspired by Supersize Me: What if you spent one month reading, listening to, and watching only right-wing media. No New York Times, no NPR, no network news, no CNN, no lefty blogs, no liberal novels. Nothing left-wing or centrist, and nothing ‘objective.’ Nothing that makes up the world you currently inhabit."
posted by Space Coyote on May 12, 2004 - 58 comments

Child's play screwed over by media.

Wil Wheaton sums it up best -- Penny Arcade's Child's Play, as posted previously, has been completely ignored by the media, despite donating over US$200,000 worth or toys and cash to a local children's hospital. 11,100 news items on violence in video games, 3 news items on video gamers opening their hearts and wallets.
posted by krisjohn on Jan 5, 2004 - 78 comments

Aids in Africa

Aids in Africa - you know the facts right? Well perhaps not, what you know are the predictions of a Computer Model. Rian Malan in today's Spectator highlights how alarmingly inaccurate such models are proving. Paul Henman illustrates how common it is to build political assumptions into a model and then hide them under layers of complexity and apparent objectivity. Think global warming. How do we challenge the models that increasingly determine our opinions and priorities?
posted by grahamwell on Dec 12, 2003 - 15 comments

Inside Fox News.

Inside Fox News. Charlie Reina, employed by Fox News from 1997 to 2003, tells it like it is. Reina: The Memo warned us that anti-war protesters would be "whining" about U.S. bombs killing Iraqi civilians, and suggested they could tell that to the families of American soldiers dying there. Editing copy that morning, I was not surprised when an eager young producer killed a correspondent's report on the day's fighting - simply because it included a brief shot of children in an Iraqi hospital.
posted by skallas on Oct 30, 2003 - 13 comments

Fair and Balanced

BBC "Fresh doubts over Iraq's arsenal". CNN "Pentagon: WMD report consistent with U.S. case" Google News lists many other sources on this topic, with varying titles depending on who you read.
posted by CrazyJub on Jun 6, 2003 - 29 comments

Fox News Biased? Pish Tosh!

Ok, I'm biased. I admit it. I never pass over the chance to gloat or take delight in some misfortune that befalls Rupert Murdoch or his media empire (this is, after all the man who disses the Dalai Lama.)
So it is with great and admittied delight that I announce that the Fox News Channel (which has fought for and won the right to lie to it's viewers) may be stopped from broadcasting in the UK because of it's bias (such a thing has happened before.)
~fingers crossed~
posted by Blue Stone on May 7, 2003 - 111 comments

quackwatch

QuackWatch.Org has long been a solid source for debunking medical claims by alternative health care practioners. But it turns out things are not all they are Quacked up to be, find out who is really behind the QuackWatch Conspiracy at QuackPotWatch.Org
posted by stbalbach on Apr 24, 2003 - 40 comments

Media bias

Should news be independent The BBC stands accused (from some quarters) of being biased in its coverage of the Gulf war. Of course news reporting will always have a bias - but whose bias should it be?
posted by daveg on Mar 31, 2003 - 30 comments

Test your Hidden Bias

Test your Hidden Bias. Tolerance.org has a set of Java-based tests designed to shed light on personal hidden biases w.r.t. race, gender, sexuality, and body image. Your results may surprise you. See also this New York Times article mentioning these tests and more rigorous studies.
posted by tss on Jan 3, 2003 - 37 comments

Al Gore on Media Bias

Return of the vast right-wing conspiracy? Al Gore is quoted in the New York Observer: "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole." Has Al Gore lost his mind?
posted by Durwood on Nov 27, 2002 - 114 comments

Politics are allowed in politics, but there are limits, and there is a pale, and Metafilter has managed to deceive those limits, and sensationalize beyond that pale. What makes this quote funny? It's automatically generated by this site, which can add your name or website to any accusation of liberal bias you'd ever want. This will save so many people so much time.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 14, 2002 - 37 comments

The Washington Post follows an agenda.

The Washington Post follows an agenda. There truly exists a bias in the press and here's an example. Metatalk had a thread on there being so many NYT links, perhaps this helps explain why. Many many more examples of the Post's biases can be found at SpinSanity and other such sites but this one comes from "next door" in Baltimore.
!Only MetaFilter is trustworthy!

( P.S. Looking for an example of "liberal bias?" This isn't it.)
posted by nofundy on Aug 19, 2002 - 28 comments

Israeli backlash

Israeli backlash to Ted Turner's comments prompts CNN offer a series of pieces focusing on the toll Palestinian terror has taken. "Ted Turner apologized, CNN's executives were quick to disassociate themselves from him and to announce he has no influence over the content of the broadcasts, and Eason Jordan, news director for the network, hurried to fly over to Israel and offer 'compensation' - a series of reports on the victims of terrorism.". Indeed, a visit to CNN's website this morning uncovers a series of focus items reporting on Israeli casualties and victims. Is this a case of journalism caving to political and commercial interests, or is Israel effectively combating the liberal bias of Western media?
posted by astirling on Jun 24, 2002 - 15 comments

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