Prejudice

Prejudice is defined as a feeling, favorable or unfavorable, toward a person or thing, prior to, or not based on, actual experience.

Forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case

Often refers to judgements toward people or a person because of gender social class age disability religion sexuality race/ethnicity , language or nationality.

  • Racism

  • Sexism

  • Classicism

  • Homophobia

  • Nationalism

  • Religious prejudice

  • Agism

Example, Sexual Orientation

Prejudice against sexual orientation whether they are gay, bixexual or lesbian

“Walking down the streets holding hands, it’s still a bit awkward,” he said. “There’s still bullying and calling out names. I’ve had people shout at me and throw things.

“There’s still a bit of prejudice. People fear what they don’t know.” “Everyone should be able to love anybody,” she said

 

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17th January 2014

This is my powerpoint presentation on Human Sciences. In our lesson, Sarwaan and I presented to a group of 3. I think that Alex’s presentation was interesting, I liked his idea on nature vs. nurture, in which he looked at the relationship between identical twins, and adopted siblings. I liked how he used a graph to present his findings, as well as describing the data he see’s on the graph, and how it relates to the idea of TOK.

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Ways of Knowing- Memory

In my opinion, a memory is defined as recollection of past events that allow us to hold on to the thoughts, feelings and emotions that we love, hate, and never want to lose. The limitations of memory include-our thoughts, feelings and emotions may be false, and influenced by other memories we have of past experiences. Secondly, our memories are unreliable. The way we perceive an event in the past may be different to how someone else remembers it. It raises the question- to what extent can memory be trusted.

This video illustrates the idea of “the fiction of memory”. Loftus explores false memories, this occurs when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. Loftus raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider. So, to what extent is memory a way of knowing? In my opinion, memory cannot be accurately described as a way of knowing as we have to take into account the weaknesses of memory itself, including confirmation bias, and selective memory.  Confirmation bias is the tendency for people to validate their hypothesis or reasoning, this bias causes them to retrieve and perceive their information selectively, leading to an unfair test, or an “unscientifically” proven theory. Selective memory is when we train our mind to only remember the details that we want to remember. This can be seen in examples where people have falsely accused other people of rape, and other crimes. Therefore, many people believe that it is unethical to use eye-witness testimony as a procedure to convict criminals, as they believe that memory and truth are not the same concept.

Although memory is initially based on knowledge, and  is the system that human beings use on a daily basis, there are many flaws in this system. I believe that memory is not evidence on its own, we need other valid proof before being able to convict a person.

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December 29th 2013

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/02/how-gay-came-to-mean-homosexual/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/words-literally-changed-meaning-through-2173079

Articles which explore and examine how language has progressed and changed throughout the years

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December 13th 2013

In this post, I will be attempting to justify the following questions:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/24/using-gay-mean-crap-bullying-gap-people?CMP=fb_gu

  • How can we trust language as a way of knowing when a word’s meaning can change  so much over time?
  • How can sometimes subtle deviations in the meaning of words exclude others?
  • What are the ethical implications with the careless use of this word in a social context?

Will Young talks about the limitations of language itself. How can we trust language as a way of knowing when a word’s meaning can change so much over time? Take the word “gay” for example, how does a word initially mean “carefree and happy” get altered in time to represent a person’s sexual orientation? Teenagers especially, use the word “gay” to represent an idea, or an object as “lame”, they do not take into account the actual orientation of the word. “The movie was gay”- meaning that the movie was stupid, indeed has nothing to do with the idea of homosexuality. What are the ethical implications with the careless use of this word in a social context? Well, if a young person grows up gay, frequently hears the word gay as being used to describe the negative qualities of a person or an object, the child will grow up thinking that they are useless, stupid, (the list goes on). Most of the time, we don’t intend to use the word gay to insult another person, instead we say it so often that the word itself has no meaning. What I am simply trying to say is that how are we going to be able to trust language when the barriers of language and the meaning of words are constantly changing? How do you know that the word “happy” wont mean something else tomorrow?

 

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6th December 2013

Suppose its been discovered that children who eat more tomato ketchup do worse in their exams, why could this be?

CINAC states that correlation is not a cause. A commonly used example may be: “Imagine you are watching at a railway station. More and more people arrive until the platform is crowded, and then — hey presto — along comes a train. Did the people cause the train to arrive (A causes B)? Did the train cause the people to arrive (B causes A)? No, they both depended on a railway timetable (C caused both A and B).” This does not specifically specify that the causation has resulted in a correlation. Instead an outside variable factor has come into play. Some people may argue that there are certain chemicals in the ketchup that interfere with the brain activity of children, resulting in academic underperformance. Hence, “children who eat more tomato ketchup do worse in exams”. However, we have to take into account the limitation and weakness of language. We can rephrase this hypothesis into “stupid children eat more ketchup”, or “poorer people eat more junk food, and do worse in school”, we have to take into account the many different ways in which this hypothesis can be interpreted. A natural scientist may test this hypothesis through chemical analysis, analyzing the different chemicals present in a sample of ketchup and referring the chemicals to interference with brain activity. Whereas human scientists may approach this hypothesis differently, and collect their data through the use of questionnaires, surveys or interviews. However, both of these methods are limited due to the bias nature of scientists, uncontrollable variables in the experiment, as well as the quality of answers that vary from person to person. So, alright, if A doesn’t cause B, could B cause A? Does C (the variable factor) cause both B and A, Does C even have anything to do with B or A? How can we test this? Is there a method that will allow us to validate this theory?

“Suppose we find out that the more often people consult astrologers, or psychics, the longer they live.”

Is there a relationship between the amount of times a person consults a astrologer/psychic and the length of their life?” Many may argue that “Knowing the future means you can avoid dying”, “The longer you live, the more astrologers or psychics you will consult”etc, however by stating these reasonings, we ourselves are being bias which does not enable us to think like “scientists” nor does it allow us to see the full picture. I agree that all these ideas are testable, and can be attempted to be proven, however, what I am trying to get across is the fact that by stating the idea of correlation and causation, it allows humans to be imaginative which can often interfere with experiments. At the moment, no scientist has scientifically been able to prove that “the more often people consult astrologers, or psychics, the longer they live”. However, perhaps in the near future, due to advancement of technology, the increase in quality of qualitative work, as well as the development of the CINAC theory, this mystery may finally be able to be solved.

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Friday 29th November 2013

The observer effect is also known as the hawthorne effect. The hawthorne effect is defined as “a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve or modify an aspect of their behavior, which is being experimentally measured in response to the fact that they know that they are being studied, not in response to any particular experimental manipulation.” Mayo altered payment systems, included rest breaks of different sorts and lengths, varying the length of the working day, and offering food and refreshments were tried and observed the effects on production of the group. In almost all cases, productivity improved. Why? Mayo concluded that work satisfaction depends on the social relationship between workers in a group as well as between their bosses. He then came up with the conclusion that the power of the working group should never be underestimated However, there set backs to his theory. Firstly, H. Mcllvaine Parsons argues that the results should be considered biased by the feedback compared to the manipulation studies, and that the results should be considered biased by the feedback and fear that the workers had about the intent of the studies may have biased the results. This theory might have also been influenced by the “longitudinal learning effect”.
hawthorne1

“Path dependence refers to the fact that often, something that seems normal or inevitable today began with a choice that made sense at a particular time in the past, but survived despite the eclipse of the justification for that choice, because once established, external factors discouraged going into reverse to try other alternatives.”- John Mcwhorter. An example of path dependence is the QWERTY keyboard. Have you ever wondered why the keyboard is not arranged in alphabetical order? or why not have the frequently used letters placed on the top row? The reason is because in the early days, typists became very fast at typing causing the typewriter to jam. The QWERTY layout allowed alternative sides of the keyboard to minimize jamming. And because of this, the layout of the keyboard has persisted ever since. No one questions the layout of the keyboard, the QWERTY keyboard is considered normal, and if were to have a keyboard arranged in alphabetical order, it would seem strange to type on. The only reason is it seen as normal today, is because it made sense in the past, and because of this we do not feel the need to try out alternative options. Path dependency can be applied to the human sciences. As seen below, the human sciences include: psychology, geography, economics, anthropology and more. The concept of path dependency allows us to survive in modern society. Many human interactions are determined by what went before. An example being, in economics, path dependency is used to explain technology adoption processes and industry evolution. It is believed that a high rate of unemployment during a recession can lead to a permanently higher unemployment rate because of the loss of skills by the unemployed along with a deterioration of work attitudes. (cyclical unemployment may generate structural unemployment). Being an economics student, we are taught this theory when learning about the effects of unemployment. We are taught that because of a high rate of unemployment during recession, this will lead to a severe misallocation of resources, as the economy is not up to its full labour potential, which can create a decrease in incentives for workers to work. However how do we know that this is really the case? It is because there is evidence to support this theory, in the past this must have occurred many times for the theory to finally be proven. “Monkeys, a Stepladder and Water or …. How Human Behaviour can be Path Dependent”- To summarize, 5 monkeys were locked in a cage with bananas hanging from the ceiling, and a step ladder. Our first instinct would be to climb up the ladder to reach the bananas, however there is a catch. Whenever the monkey climbs up the step ladder it gets sprayed by icy cold water. This is repeated for all the monkeys. This occurred many times. However, when a new monkey was left in the cage and started to climb up the ladder, the old monkeys would scratch him and shout at him warning him to not climb up the ladder. They became the guardians of this rule without knowing its purpose. What is the relevance of this to path dependency? well, it is simple. In an organization, a rule, regulation or a procedure is introduced for a reason. After a while, the reason is forgotten, but the rule stays. Nobody knows why there are following it, but they do.

monkeys-bananas-step-ladders-and-water-sprays1

Source: http://clearwater-uk.com/MyBlog/2010/02/28/five-monkeys-a-banana-and-corporate-culture/

A causation does not imply a correlation. In biology, we learn about the differences of correlation and causation. We make observations all the time about the living world around us. For example, we might notice that a plant wilts when soil is dry or that you start to become hungry if you have not eaten for a long time. This is a simple observation. Observing that a plant wilts because the soil is dry is a simple correlation, the experiment itself proves this theory. Experiments provide a test which shows a cause. Observations without an experiment can only show a correlation. Another example can be seen when, the sales of ice cream went up during the summer. There is no proof that the sales of ice cream went up because it was hot, we have to consider many other factors that take place. We use logical fallacy to come up with conclusions. For example, A occurs in correlation with B, therefore A causes B. Is this true? can we rely on this theory? What evidence is there to support this? This can relate to the study of human sciences in psychology for example. The purpose of psychology is to explain human behavior. We formulate theories to predict it, and then develop remedies for the problems identified by those predictions. By doing so, psychologists look for causations and correlations, they look at the overall patterns and when someone comes to them for help and they have the same problem, psychologists base their past experiences and observations and apply it to their patients. However there are many limitations, for example, how do we prove that this theory applies to everyone? surely there will be exceptions? There are almost flaws to every theory there is out there. A causation may cause a correlation, but there will be other examples in which the causation does not follow the correlation. Therefore how are the human sciences100% certain of the theory or pattern they are observing?

correlation

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