Critical reflections on perspective and bias

Exploratory activity

Now reflect on what you've learned in this module about perspectives and biases.

Watch this 7 minute video where 2 members of a town council express their views about reducing the use of plastic bags in their community. While watching the video, reflect on the following questions and make notes:

  1. What do the speakers tell us about themselves? Knowing the speakers’ backgrounds can tell you a lot about which perspectives they are coming from. Personal background can also lead to individual biases.
  2. Which group of people do the speakers belong to or are important to them? The group they belong to may have a particular interest. Considering those allegiances will help understand what the person believes about the issue and what they assume is true.
  3. What arguments do the speakers express? Are there any premises which would need to be verified to be able to judge whether the arguments are strong or weak? Campaigners often present information so that it seems to favour them and their positions. People in a community may say things that are not necessarily true.
  4. Will anyone benefit or lose if the speakers’ arguments are accepted or rejected? Who gains if the information is taken at face value?
  5. Is the information complete? What is not spoken about? What else would people need to know?
  6. Has one of the speakers expressed a view or idea that is close to your own thinking? Do you think you could be biased when deciding how strong or weak the speakers’ argument is?

Video 'The Plastic Bag Debate' (8)

Click on "Reveal" to check your answers.