Empathy & Bias Curation

Hello everyone, Karim and I have worked on this Curation to present to you people, and we really hope you enjoy it! There are 5 curation’s on my blog, and another 5 on his, you can check them out, here


Let us get a couple of things straight first. Let us all understand what the meaning of Empathy & Bias is. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another while Bias is inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group.

Prof. Maha has tweeted a beautiful quote by Paul Bloom from his article attached to the tweet. The quote goes ““Empathy is biased; we are more prone to feel empathy for attractive people and for those who look like us or share our ethnic or national background”. Bloom starts off the article by explaining what empathy means to him and that he follows the 18th century definition which is “sympathy”. Obama has said an amazing quote that we should all be using today “it’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars. It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.” If we could just all follow the same idealogy/concept in our daily life, we’d all be other people who look at things very differently, more empathy would be involved. Bloom goes on to discuss some types of good empathy and bad empathy such as compassionate helping and empathic distress. He does bring out a good point and for me, I see it this way only. I would love to have empathetic friends, who can understand what I’m going through sometimes and Bloom has helped me realize that I actually do have some friends that understand what I’m going through most of the time, and can actually help me through my tough times.

How “Africa” is Northern Africa might not seem to you to have a lot to do with empathy & bias, while actually it has. Looking at Northern Africans as they are not African is somewhat bias to the idea that all Africans are black. It also shows how much we do not think nor understand each other, in other words we dont empathize each other, nor do people empathize us. They don’t try to understand how North Africans are really Africans that are just with different skin tones. In the end, all Africans are one, whether Northern or Southern. We should empathize more with each other from the point of Black Africans being more understanding of the fact that it is their continent as much as its ours, we shouldn’t be always bias to the idea that being African is being black.

We have many talks in class, oh so many you cannot count them. Fortunately for you and me, they have small lessons to teach us, and usually people tend to be bias to their opinions. As Karim said, the instance with the racist comment in class and then went on talk about a different kind of subtopic in empathy & bias. While here, I would like to talk about the real people, real classmate’s bias to their opinions about a certain topic or idea for example. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, on the contraar. We are all bias in one way or another, and I’m giving just a small example on how in a day to day conversation, we would be bias or sometimes have some empathy in some situation. In Prof. Maha’s class, I witness a lot of talk about Bias & Empathy for one month, thus I’m able to see everyone’s example’s and ideas of Bias & Empathy through different activities and conversations.

We have watched 2 videos in Prof. Maha’s class that both discuss empathy & bias. Chimamanda Ngozi, who worked as a writer beautifully shared her story with bias and how people assumed she wasn’t good at anything, specially writing because she’s from Africa. This is a situation where we should feel more empathy towards a person and not think in a superficial way. Unfortunately, some people still do not understand the meaning of understanding people and overlooking a lot of physical aspects. Another example of bias, is Binna Kandala, a professor who gave an amazing example when women and men went to a driving test. They were split into 2 groups of women and men. The women in the first group were told not to worry and that the plastic cones are replacable, they can hit them. The women in the second group were told that they could do it, and that they are equal to the male drivers if not better. Turns out, that the women in the second group have done better than the first group with the right things being said. Thats an example of what can happen during a normal day but change the way of thinking of many people.

Even the Twitter Scavenger Hunt that we’ve had, it was full of empathy. We were all sharing a part of us to each other on a global platform just by trying to guess images! We’re not only just guessing the images, we’re trying to guess what the other person is thinking about, we might find some details about them in their account for example to help us, but we’re mainly thinking about how that other person is thinking, what they were thinking at that moment when they heard they need to participate in a game like this. All these questions can aid in finding out what just one single image, meant or looked like.


You can find the articles/videos here:






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