Political science is the study of human political behavior. As students in this field of study, it is important for us to assess how we approach understanding behavior. One of the best first tools we can employ is to assess our own biases or prejudices. Coming clean with ourselves about the “filters through which we see the world” will prepare us for academic research in political science. To learn more about personal bias, please read the information found at: http://www.tolerance.org/Hidden-bias. If you are so inclined, you may take one or more of the “Implicit Association Tests” (IATs) located at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/. You do not have to register to participate and you are not obligated to take any of the IATs.
What to Do
Your essay must describe the lenses through which you see the world, that is, it must describe your background (socio-economic status, race/ethnicity, age, where you have lived, political leanings, and any other characteristics that you believe have influenced the way you see the world), any biases or stereotypes that you are aware of that might affect how you see the world, or any other information that you believe affects how you observe and interpret human behavior.
You must then discuss how you acquired your beliefs (family, friends, school, religion, media, etc.).
And finally, you must assess how you think you can neutralize or overcome (as much as possible) your biases so as to allow you to observe the political world more objectively. (I do not believe humans can ever be completely objective, but we can do a lot to reduce the influences of subjectivity in the observations we make.)
Close your essay by describing what you learned by doing this assignment.
Your response must include a minimum of 700 words written in academic English. The format must be 12-point font, one-inch margins, and double-spaced. Prepare your response in a word processor so that you can run spell/grammar check. .
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