The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

11 February, 2005

Positive Bias

Most of you have heard about positive and negative bias. (Well, I have, even you you haven't. My MarketingI class had discussions about it back when I did my Marketing Certificate). Negative bias is when you think negative thoughts about someone or some group before you actually know enough about them. An example of this in Australia, is the constant belief that all Asian drivers are bad. I always used to counteract this arguement with the fact that my friend Chris Buckthorpe was both Asian and a good driver. (A damn good driver). Negative bias is basically prejudice with a slant for believing the worst. A positive bias, is basically a prejudice for believing good things. An example of positive bias is the belief that all Afro American's are great basketball players. I've met some who can't stand the game, and aren't too good at it. A funny thing is, when something happens to re-inforce these biases, people don't usually think about it. They just jump to the same conclusions as their prejudice. There are plenty of stories I can tell regarding negative bias. Some funny, some not. Today, I'll talk about something which happened which would have re-inforced a positive bias, if I had one. :-) I once went on some dates with a Chinese girl named Christine. For a first date, we went to play tennis. (Very brave of me, to allow a girl to hit balls around on a first date). She didn't own a tennis racket, so when we got to the tennis court, she decided to visit the Pro-Shop and buy one. (I stupidly turned up with an old wooden rackets from the 1980's ... or 1970's ... or when Noah was emptying his gym room on the ark.) So, we walked into the Pro-Shop with the intentions of buying a racket for Christine. They were all quite expensive starting at a low $250. (Or as my brain said at the time TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS!!!!!) Christine wasn't too taken aback by the price, she simply told the guy it was too expensive. He asked her what she thought was a better price. She said one hundred. At this point my brain said, "Well, she'll never get it for that price!" After some haggling, the guy agreed to one hundred and fifty. Then when he handed her the racket, she said she wanted a cover for it! For FREE! Plus a sweatband for her arm! Also for FREE! My brain went, "No way Man! That'll ruin the deal!" NOPE! The guy agreed! Maybe it was a ploy she uses before a match to throw people. It certainly melted my brain. I'm not used to people haggling in Australia. Whenever I've tried, I usually get the, "That's the price man. Take it or leave it!", line thrown back at me. I asked her how she got away with it. (As though it was a trick of some sort. My brain was still trying to get around the fact that she had the nerve to go so low on the price of the racket). She assured me it was because Chinese are good at haggling. If I had a positive bias bone in my body, I'd probably believe it. I think it may have more to do with the fact she'd just come from China. Haggling might be part of the culture over there. I'm not sure. I'd have to ask one of my friends there. Being in a culture where it is more acceptable would have more to do with it, regardless of whether she was Chinese or not. Well, Christine and I never really made it. After about three dates, that was the end. I used to struggle to find things to talk about with her. (For me to run out of words is saying something.) In a way, it is a pity, as she's the very sort of person I need to take shopping with me! :-) [Just think how low I could have got a house for!]