Blinded by Politics? Uncover Your Biases {Bias Day 5}
—Grace & Truth Linkup

Everybody Has an Opinion on Politics

One of the greatest dividers in our nation lately has been politics.

But not just politics itself. Our opinions on politics, too.

I’ve personally felt the divide among family, among friends, among neighbors.

And I don’t like it. I’m sure you don’t either.

How can we bridge the divide? No magic solutions here.

But there is something we each can do: Attempt to uncover our own biases regarding politics. We all have them. No one is immune.

Biases and politics

Overcoming Our Biases in Politics

How can we apply the four biases from this week specifically to politics?

(1) How Can You Avoid Your Confirmation Bias? {Bias 1}

CONFIRMATION BIAS is listening only to what we already agree with. Listening only to our political party or leaning. It keeps us trapped in our own echo chambers.

My friend is a good example of how to break out of confirmation bias in politics. She and her dad are on opposite sides of many political issues. She has her sources; he has his.

But occasionally, she watches his news channel. She reads articles he suggests (and suggests some for him). She goes out of her way to listen to views that might oppose her own.

It doesn’t mean she changes her mind. That’s not necessarily the goal.  

But it educates her on how her father is thinking. And it gives them a better chance at communicating with each other. It’s still difficult. But it’s better than it would be.

(2) But I Don’t Want to Leave My Comfort Zone {Bias 2}

COMFORT BIAS causes us to avoid uncomfortable political conversations before they even happen.

No one is suggesting we pick political fights on Facebook. Or leave snarky comments on Twitter. Those are never helpful. 

But in person, when the right opportunity arises, it’s okay to push ourselves a little, to engage in safe and healthy conversations about our political stands. To ask questions. To listen. To grow. To step outside our comfort zone for a few minutes. 

(3) Why We Think We Already Know the Answers {Bias 3}

COMPETENCY BIAS (also known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect) is a tricky one. We each unconsciously overestimate what we know, without knowing we’re doing it.

When it comes to politics, we all know people (and likely ourselves too) who think they are “experts” on several issues. Maybe we read a news article or saw something online, and voila!—we now know the simple solution to untangle complex issues.

But as our mamas told us, “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.”

With politics, as with all other topics, we need to remember there is always more iceberg under the surface than what we see on top. Let’s practice a humble “I don’t know” more often so we can keep learning more.

(4) How to Stop Being So Negative {Bias 4}

NEGATIVITY BIAS also affects us all. It’s easier to see the bad things in politics rather than the good things, to point out what’s wrong with everyone else. 

Recruit a friend or partner to gently remind you when you’re getting too negative.

While we don’t have to find good in every issue (some issues have nothing good in them), we also don’t have to assume the worst about every politician (especially those on the opposite side). Name-calling and gaslighting and generalizing are not helpful; they are negative and harmful.

We need to keep our eyes open to problems that need solving. And work to solve them. But we also need to seek out positive things happening in politics, too (and yes, there are many!).

Seeing Past Our Biases

No one is immune from having biases. But likewise, none of us are beyond hope from seeing past our biases.

If we’ll keep an open mind to see more clearly, God will send us help through his Spirit as well as through other people around us.

No one has to live in the dark basement of politics, locked down in their own opinions. We all have a choice to walk into the light, and to live and love in brighter spaces.

Featured Post

When I read Shannon’s post, “Getting Along When You and Your Spouse Have Different Political Views,” I knew it would be the perfect companion post for today.

Apply Shannon’s practical steps with your spouse or friend or coworker. Let Shannon encourage you like she did me to:

1. Practice good communication regarding politics
2. Remember whose job it is to change minds
3. Have politics-free zones or politics-free times
4. Find a common goal or project on which to focus

Read all of Shannon’s post at her blog, Of the Hearth. Then add your links and comments below.

Getting Along When You and Your Spouse Have Different Political Views

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How do you overcome your political bias? I’m trying, but it’s hard. Share your thoughts in the comments.

You are on Day #5 of the series: “How to Uncover Hidden Biases.”

Uncover Hidden Biases

Previous: Negativity Bias {Bias Day 4}
“How to Stop Being So Negative”

Next: Bias Quotes {Bias Day 6}
“5 Quotes to Awaken Our Hidden Biases”

6 thoughts on “Blinded by Politics? Uncover Your Biases {Bias Day 5}
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. blankLaurie

    Too bad you don’t have any magical solutions. I was hoping you did! 😉 Actually, while there is no magic bullet, your suggestions are very good. I have been trying to watch news shows from the “other” side. It’s hard, but I am trying to have an open mind. We absolutely do need to stop dehumanizing people with different political views that we have. They are all made in God’s image.

  2. blankLory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle

    If people could overcome these four biases the world would be a much better place. Unfortunately there seems to be a large number that absolutely refuse to admit bias or even consider changing themselves. The ones who have overcome that have already made a huge step, but how to get there? That’s a big question for me.

    Anyway, thanks for this topic, it’s so important and timely! Great posts.

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