Bias as Objectification

One reason to avoid insincerity is fear of being caught out.  But why is it bad to be caught out?  If you say something and it is later revealed that you said it only to gain some advantage, why would you care?  The obvious answer is that being known to be insincere will reduce your ability to enter into beneficial relationships with others in the future.  But clearly some people find being caught out to be very unpleasant in itself, beyond the reputational effect.  The reason, I think, is that being caught out is in some sense dehumanizing.  A guy who is caught out spinning cheesy pickup lines in a bar ceases to be regarded as an individual human being and just gets put in a box labeled "slimy bar guy," and it is humiliating to be thought of as someone whose essence can be captured with one uncomplimentary three-word label.

I think something similar lies behind the psychological impulse that some people have to overcome bias, and I certainly think this is so for me.  Somehow the idea that my beliefs or claims or arguments can be airily dismissed as the product of this or that self-interested bias damages my self-image far more than does simply being shown to be wrong.  I’m willing to go to pretty long lengths so that people can’t dismiss me in this way (or at least can’t do so in a way that I find substantive enough to be upsetting), and the best way to do this is to actually be as free of bias as possible.  Hopefully I’ve now reached the point that I seek OB as a virtue in its own right as well, but this is a big part of my motivation today and was a huge part of it in my formative years.

Does anyone else feel like this was also their motivation for seeking to OB?  Can anyone see any way in which this motivation introduces a bias into the project of OB?  I can’t think of any, except maybe that it tends to make you excessively worried about biases that other people are likely to pick up on and less worried than you should be about other ones.  Are there more?

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