Confirmation and Other Biases

As the investigation into the reporting of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, continues, class members consider how bias influences perception, how the tendency is to collect evidence that supports preconceived notions. The big idea behind the activities and materials in the instructional activity is that "if you think something is true, you should set out to disprove the idea."

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Instructional Ideas
  • Begin with a reading of John Godfrey Saxe's poem "The Blind Men and the Elephant"
  • Have individuals reread the class contract for safe and respectful discussions
  • As groups to find examples from the 2016 Presidential election of fake stories on the Internet
Classroom Considerations
  • The "Can You Solve This" video begins with a very graphic ad for air freshener; queue the video to begin after the ad
  • Preview the Implicit Association Test (IAT) before deciding to use this resource as part of the lesson
  • A variety of materials demonstrate the effects of the different types of bias
  • Includes step-by-step lesson directions
  • None