AskDefine | Define bias

Dictionary Definition

bias adj : slanting diagonally across the grain of a fabric; "a bias fold"


1 a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation [syn: prejudice, preconception]
2 a line or cut across a fabric that is not at right angles to a side of the fabric [syn: diagonal]


1 influence in an unfair way; "you are biasing my choice by telling me yours"
2 cause to be biased [syn: predetermine] [also: biassing, biassed]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˈbaɪəs/, /"baI@s/
  • Rhymes: -aɪəs


From biasis, from Old biais.


  1. inclination towards something; predisposition, partiality, prejudice, preference, predilection
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 4.
      nature has pointed out a mixed kind of life as most suitable to the human race, and secretly admonished them to allow none of these biasses to draw too much
  2. (textile) the diagonal line between warp and weft in a woven fabric
  3. a voltage or current applied for example to a transistor electrode
  4. the difference between the expectation of the sample estimator and the true population value, which reduces the representativeness of the estimator by systematically distorting it


inclination towards something; predisposition, partiality
Translations to be checked


  1. To place bias upon; to influence.
    Our prejudices bias our views.

Extensive Definition

for other senses of this word Bias is a term used to describe a tendency or preference towards a particular perspective, ideology or result. All information and points of view have some form of bias. A person is generally said to be biased if a reasonable observer would conclude that the person is markedly influenced by inner biases, rendering it unlikely for them to be able to be objective.

In practice

Bias may result from opining on a subject while holding a particular viewpoint on the subject, and not applying neutral point of view correction to the process, whether consciously or unconsciously. In practice, an accusation of bias often results from a perception of unacknowledged favoritism on the part of a critic or judge, or indeed any person in a position requiring the careful and disinterested exercise of arbitration or assessment. Any tendency to favour a certain set of values naturally lead to an uneven dispensation of judgment. It may also be noted that, if a person were to take their own preexisting view as a priori balanced without acknowledging their own personal inclinations, any person or organization that disagrees with their views is likely to be viewed as biased regardless of that person or organization's actual efforts at balance. It may be observed that bias is, in a sense, reflexive, unacknowledged or unrecognized bias potentially leading to its apprehension (with or without good reason) in others.

Effects of biases

A bias could lead one to accept or deny the truth of a claim, not on the basis of the strength of the arguments in support of the claim themselves, but because of the extent of the claim's correspondence with one's own preconceived ideas. This is called confirmation bias. it can change the results of certain results

Forms of biases

These are just a few popular ones.
  • Class: bias favoring one social class and bias ignoring social or class divisions.
  • Commercial: advertising, coverage of political campaigns favoring corporate interests, or reporting favoring media owner interests.
  • Cognitive bias
  • Cultural bias: interpreting and judging phenomena in terms particular to one's own culture.
  • Ethnic or racial: racism, nationalism, regionalism and tribalism.
  • Geographical: describing a dispute as it is conducted in one country, when the dispute is framed differently elsewhere.
  • Inductive bias
  • Media bias: real or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events will be reported and how they are covered
  • Nationalistic: favoring or opposing the interests or views of a particular nation.
  • Gender: including sexism and heteronormativity.
  • Linguistic: bias, favoring certain languages
  • Political: bias in favor of or against a particular political party, philosophy, policy or candidate.
  • Religious: bias for or against religion, faith or beliefs;
  • Sensationalist: favoring the exceptional over the ordinary. This includes emphasizing, distorting, or fabricating exceptional news to boost commercial ratings.
  • Scientific (including anti-scientific and scientific skepticism): favoring (or disfavoring) a scientist, inventor, or theory for non-scientific reasons. This can also include excessive favoring (or disfavoring) prevalent scientific opinion, if in doing so, notable viewpoints are no longer being treated neutrally.
  • Statistical: one example is a biased sample.
  • Systematic: bias resulting from a flaw integral to the system within which the bias arises (for example, an incorrectly calibrated thermostat may consistently read — that is 'be biased' — several degrees hotter or colder than actual temperature). As a consequence, systematic bias commonly leads to systematic errors, as opposed to random errors, which tend to cancel one another out.

External links

bias in Arabic: انحياز
bias in Danish: Bias (psykologi)
bias in German: Bias
bias in Hebrew: נטאי
bias in Portuguese: Viés
bias in Simple English: Bias
bias in Serbian: Биас
bias in Swedish: Metodfel
bias in Turkish: Ön yargı

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a thing for, aberrancy, aberration, across, affect, affinity, angle, angle off, animus, aptitude, aptness, aslant, aslope, athwart, atilt, bag, bear off, bend, bend to, bendwise, bent, bevel, beveled, biased, biaswise, branching off, canting, careening, cast, catercorner, catercornered, catercornerways, character, chosen kind, circuitousness, color, conatus, conduce, conduciveness, constitution, contribute, corner, cornerways, cornerwise, crook, crossways, crosswise, cup of tea, curve, declination, deflect, delight, departure, detour, deviance, deviancy, deviate, deviation, deviousness, diagonal, diagonally, diagonalwise, diathesis, diffract, diffuse, digression, discrimination, discursion, disperse, dispose, disposition, distort, divagate, divagation, divarication, diverge, divergence, diversion, divert, dogleg, double, drift, drifting, druthers, eagerness, eccentricity, errantry, excursion, excursus, exorbitation, fancy, fascination, favor, favoritism, feeling for, forejudgment, garble, go, grain, hairpin, have a tendency, head, idiosyncrasy, impulse, inclination, inclinational, inclinatory, incline, inclined, inclining, indirection, individualism, induce, inequality, influence, interest, involvement, jaundice, jaundiced eye, kidney, kittycorner, lead, lean, leaning, liability, liking, listing, look to, lurch, make, makeup, mental set, mettle, mind, mind-set, misconstrue, misdirect, misinterpret, misrender, misrepresent, misuse, mold, move, mutual affinity, mutual attraction, nature, nepotism, oblique, oblique angle, oblique figure, oblique line, obliquity, on the bias, one-sidedness, out of plumb, out of square, parti pris, partialism, partiality, particular choice, partisanism, partisanship, penchant, pererration, personal choice, persuade, pervert, pitched, point, point to, preconception, predilection, predispose, predisposition, preference, preferential treatment, prejudgment, prejudice, prejudice against, prejudice the issue, prepossess, prepossession, probability, proclivity, prompt, proneness, propensity, pull, raking, rambling, readiness, recumbent, redound to, refract, rhomboid, scatter, scratch comma, sensitivity to, separatrix, serve, set, set toward, sheer, shelving, shelvy, shift, shifting, shifting course, shifting path, show a tendency, sideling, sidelong, skew, slant, slanted, slanting, slantways, slantwise, slash, sloped, sloping, slue, soft spot, soften up, solidus, stamp, standpoint, strain, straying, streak, stripe, style, susceptibility, sway, sweep, swerve, swerving, swinging, sympathy, tack, taint, taste, temper, temperament, tend, tendency, thing, thwart, tilted, tilting, tinge, tipped, tipping, tipsy, tone, torture, transverse, trend, tropism, turn, turn of mind, turning, twist, type, undetachment, undispassionateness, unneutrality, variation, varnish, veer, verge, viewpoint, virgule, wandering, warp, weakness, wear down, weigh with, weight, willingness, work, work toward, yaw, zigzag
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