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Bias, Misinformation and the Paradox of Neutrality.

Bednar, Peter LU and Welch, Christine (2008) InSITE2008: Informing Science and IT Education Conference In [Host publication title missing] p.1-18
Abstract
What is normally described as bias? A possible definition comprises attempts to distort or mislead to achieve a certain perspective, i.e. subjective descriptions intended to mislead. If designers were able to exclude bias from informing systems, then this would maximize their effectiveness. This implicit conjecture appears to underpin much of the research in our field. However, in our efforts to support the evolution and design of informing systems, the way we think, communicate and conceptualize our efforts clearly influences our comprehension and consequently our agenda for design. Objectivity (an attempt to be neutral or transparent) is usually regarded as non-biased. However, claims for objectivity do not, by definition, include... (More)
What is normally described as bias? A possible definition comprises attempts to distort or mislead to achieve a certain perspective, i.e. subjective descriptions intended to mislead. If designers were able to exclude bias from informing systems, then this would maximize their effectiveness. This implicit conjecture appears to underpin much of the research in our field. However, in our efforts to support the evolution and design of informing systems, the way we think, communicate and conceptualize our efforts clearly influences our comprehension and consequently our agenda for design. Objectivity (an attempt to be neutral or transparent) is usually regarded as non-biased. However, claims for objectivity do not, by definition, include efforts to inquire into and reflect over subjective values. Attempts to externalize the mindset of the subject do not arise as part of the description. When claims to objectivity are made, this rarely includes any effort to make subjective bias transparent. Instead, objectivity claims may be regarded as a denial of bias. We suggest that bias can be introduced into overt attempts to admit subjectivity. For example, where people are asked to give subjective opinion according to an artificially enforced scale of truth-falsity (bi-valued logic), they may find themselves coerced into statements of opinion which do not truly reflect the views they might have wished to express. People do not naturally respond to their environment with opinions limited to restricted scales; rather, they tend to use multivalued logic. This paper examines the impact of bias within attempts to establish communicative practice in human activity systems (informing systems). (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
misinformation, : bias, phenomenology, multivalued logic, informing systems, analysis.
in
[Host publication title missing]
editor
Cohen, Eli and Boyd, Betty
pages
19 pages
publisher
Informing Science Press
conference name
InSITE2008: Informing Science and IT Education Conference
external identifiers
  • Scopus:58149295401
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3160590e-53cc-4b2a-9b0e-eae246d943ba (old id 1486846)
date added to LUP
2009-10-12 14:42:29
date last changed
2017-01-15 04:31:16
@inproceedings{3160590e-53cc-4b2a-9b0e-eae246d943ba,
  abstract     = {What is normally described as bias? A possible definition comprises attempts to distort or mislead to achieve a certain perspective, i.e. subjective descriptions intended to mislead. If designers were able to exclude bias from informing systems, then this would maximize their effectiveness. This implicit conjecture appears to underpin much of the research in our field. However, in our efforts to support the evolution and design of informing systems, the way we think, communicate and conceptualize our efforts clearly influences our comprehension and consequently our agenda for design. Objectivity (an attempt to be neutral or transparent) is usually regarded as non-biased. However, claims for objectivity do not, by definition, include efforts to inquire into and reflect over subjective values. Attempts to externalize the mindset of the subject do not arise as part of the description. When claims to objectivity are made, this rarely includes any effort to make subjective bias transparent. Instead, objectivity claims may be regarded as a denial of bias. We suggest that bias can be introduced into overt attempts to admit subjectivity. For example, where people are asked to give subjective opinion according to an artificially enforced scale of truth-falsity (bi-valued logic), they may find themselves coerced into statements of opinion which do not truly reflect the views they might have wished to express. People do not naturally respond to their environment with opinions limited to restricted scales; rather, they tend to use multivalued logic. This paper examines the impact of bias within attempts to establish communicative practice in human activity systems (informing systems).},
  author       = {Bednar, Peter and Welch, Christine},
  booktitle    = {[Host publication title missing]},
  editor       = {Cohen, Eli and Boyd, Betty},
  keyword      = {misinformation,: bias,phenomenology,multivalued logic,informing systems,analysis.},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1--18},
  publisher    = {Informing Science Press},
  title        = {Bias, Misinformation and the Paradox of Neutrality.},
  year         = {2008},
}