Bias is an inclination or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective, often accompanied by a refusal to consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. Biases can be learned implicitly within cultural contexts. People may develop biases toward or against an individual, an ethnic group, a nation, a religion, a social class, a political party, theoretical paradigms and ideologies within academic domains, or a species. Biased means one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, or not having an open mind. Bias can come in many forms and is related to prejudice and intuition.
In science and engineering, a bias is a systematic error. Statistical bias results from an unfair sampling of a population, or from an estimation process that does not give accurate results on average./.../
How do you persuade somebody of the facts? Asking them to be fair, impartial and unbiased is not enough. To explain why, psychologist Tom Stafford analyses a classic scientific study.
One of the tricks our mind plays is to highlight evidence which confirms what we already believe. If we hear gossip about a rival we tend to think "I knew he was a nasty piece of work"; if we hear the same about our best friend we're more likely to say "that's just a rumour". If you don't trust the government then a change of policy is evidence of their weakness; if you do trust them the same change of policy can be evidence of their inherent reasonableness.