Press "Enter" to skip to content

The bias does not exist

One of the normal concerns of sociologists and others who are dedicated to the research social is the to avoid bias in the questions. A question is biased, a that in their development compel them to respond in a certain way, it would be misleading not to present us the true opinion of the respondent.

Now, the concern rests on two assumptions that, although they are not exactly incorrect, are at least -shall we say – biased:

The first is the most obvious: That the main and only function of a survey is to obtain the honest opinions of the respondent. But in reality, a survey can give us information of other things. If there is a process that produces a bias that process is, ultimately, part of the social life.

In that sense, we must recognize that the bias is fact. Suppose that a question is biased because, for example, such an alternative is socially desired, and the whole world is going to answer that. The answer will not be very informative in the honest opinion of people, but if it will be very informative of something that is also real, and that is perhaps more important for the operation of society: that such a thing is the answer which is socially desirable. Bourdieu in Distinction draws several conclusions analytically important from the fact that in the responses to a survey of taste and cultural consumption was no bias (there are answers socially valid). In fact, part of the analysis is based on see issues of poor attribution, so to speak (that what they think is socially valid is not).

The second premise of the posture anti-bias is that there is such a thing as true opinion, and sincere of a person on a topic. The problem with the sentence above is not that people do not have in fact views that give valid on a theme, the theme is that it has no opinion on an issue. Have No opinion about abortion, about the AFP, on such a political. Have several considerations made to produce an opinion.

Reviews are always context, and then we can say that the bias is context. Let us think of one of the most famous cases of context effect in a survey. In the cold war, it asks americans about whether a reporter soviet should be able to visit EEA.STATES and write whatever came in wins over the country in a Russian newspaper. A few declared to be in favour. But when asked the question after the equivalent of about a reporter american in Russia, the majority agreed. Pure bias one might think, there is contamination of the questions. But each one of these situations is real in social terms: it is the opinion alone (when the only thing that people reacted was in front of his image of the russians) and another when the norm of reciprocity was activated. These data are interesting, these data say things of interest (to someone that would like to defend a policy to someone that I would like to know about the rules of the american). Ultimately, in both cases the view was real: they were Both of the opinion actually held by the person in two different contexts.

Now, of course, to analyze a question biased is to recognize that it is biased. And how that does not always happen, then in practical terms the search by removing the bias makes sense. At the end of accounts, analyze a question, biased, needs to go beyond saying X people said Y. What, we have to admit that sometimes seems to go beyond what the analysts.