Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Pervasive Nature of Bias

The potential for bias from the above mentioned researcher certainly exists. Religious and spiritual beliefs are often deeply-rooted and writers may unknowingly use language that makes unfair assumptions about individuals, cultures, or contexts. The APA (2010) warns researchers and scholars that their beliefs, worldviews, and attitudes are tremendously influential, even when they are well aware of their bias, and they should be diligent in working toward fairness in their research and writing. According to Stewart and Bennett (2006), people tend to believe in the superiority of their personal beliefs, whether religious, cultural, or contextual. Further, they often unconsciously measure others by their own norms and expectations (Stewart & Bennett, 2006). It will be important for the researcher to be mindful of basing the review solely on empirically derived information and refrain from showing partiality or perpetuating any demeaning attitude. The APA (2010) advises writers against extraneous evaluation of any individual or group. The researcher will have to make a deliberate attempt to refrain from bias and personal opinion.

Creswell (2009) advises researchers to be aware of potential bias and other ethical issues in data analysis and interpretation. The potential to fail to include relevant information, misconstrue data, or fail to maintain objectivity because of intrinsic bias is a fraudulent use of one's influence as a researcher and is considered unethical and is regarded as scientific misconduct (Creswell, 2009).


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition). Washington, DC: Author.

Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Stewart, E. C., & Bennett, M. J. (2006). American cultural patterns: a cross-cultural perspective. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

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