Bias, Moral Reasoning, and Critical Thinking

There are essential practices and concepts in everyday life that determine social interactions. These include critical thinking, identifying and overcoming bias, moral reasoning, and logical fallacies. If understood by people, these practices can help create a harmonious environment for humans to grow with each other. This paper discusses these concepts and how they affect other people, and their importance in society.

Bias is an inclination towards something, either an individual or group. This inclination is usually based on social identities, for example, race, culture, gender, religion, and social status (Boykin & Smith, 2019). Biases can be positive or negative, and they influence people’s decisions knowingly or unknowingly. There are ways of recognizing bias in human beings: gender prejudice favors one sex over another; for example, men are thought to be better managers as opposed to women. One can overcome this by setting gender-neutral goals in workplaces.

Ageism is preconception against a particular age group: for instance, at workplaces, older people are seen to be less productive compared to the young. This can be done away with by encouraging cross-generational collaboration. Another example of bias is perception bias which occurs due to judging or treating others because of their grouping (Boykin & Smith, 2019). The assumption that poor people are untrustworthy is one such example: this can be avoided by challenging our assumptions.

Moral reasoning is the practical interpretation of what is wrong or right ethically. Mainly, one undertakes this reasoning when faced with a complex decision, although not all problems require moral reasoning. Ethical thinking attaches value judgment such as right or wrong, good or bad, fair or unfair (Stanley et al., 2018). When making decisions, most people are influenced more by internal biases or external pressure. Moral reasoning starts from childhood and continues into adulthood. Types of moral reasoning may include factors such as deontological, consequentialism, and virtue ethics.

Deontological reasoning is philosophical thinking which is governed by some rule. According to this form, some actions are morally obliged regardless of their results on human welfare. These engagements are centered on the conformity of an action to some rule of law. Consequentialism focuses on what is to be achieved by the decision. A person has to weigh the positive and negative outcomes of a decision and choose the one with the highest positive result. Consequently, virtue ethics is based on an individual’s character and merits (Stanley et al., 2018). Moral reasoning is essential because it helps differentiate right from wrong and may determine decisions and actions harmful to others and oneself.

Critical thinking is the objective analysis of a problem and facts present to form a judgment. To be a critical thinker, an individual needs specific skills such as observation, analysis, inference, communication, and problem-solving. Having the necessary thinking skills enable someone to make logical and informed decisions to the best of their ability. Critical thinking is good for society and an individual since it helps one make better choices in everyday problems and form well-informed opinions (Stanley et al., 2018). One can foster good relationships as they are more open-minded to various views. Thus, critical thinkers have good problem-solving skills and are creative.

Understanding people’s diversity and differences can go a long way in reducing bias. An essential objective of moral reasoning is to focus clearly on problems enabling one to act in an ethically responsible manner. There is no accepted definition of what is wrong or right, but an action that causes physical or emotional damage to someone else is morally wrong (Stanley et al., 2018). Mastering the art of creative and critical thinking can have lots of benefits for an individual.


Boykin, C., & Smith, C. (2019). Motivations to control prejudice bias performance feedback in developmental relationships. Personnel Assessment and Decisions, 5(2). Web.

Stanley, M., Dougherty, A., Yang, B., Henne, P., & De Brigard, F. (2018). Reasons probably won’t change your mind: The role of reasons in revising moral decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(7), 962-987. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Bias, Moral Reasoning, and Critical Thinking." September 5, 2023.