Sat Essay

Question: Are people better at making observations, discoveries, and decisions if they remain neutral and impartial? Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Objectivity by researchers has not, and probably never will be attained. People will always have biases; some will be created by cultural values and others by personal views. The search for objectivity lies in the realm of philosophy along with the search for reality.Even though complete objectivity can never be reached, people are better at making observations, discoveries, and decisions if they attempt to set aside their biases. There are numerous examples in everyday personal life, books and science. People who only make observations from one point of view are blind to many interesting observations/discoveries that they could have made. I had a friend who is a very stodgy and conservative girl.She dislikes many people based on their attire, tastes and careers, but fails to realize that, though not similar to her, many of these people are very successful and decent people who are worthy as friends.

Her biased judgments reflect the one-sidedness that deprives her of a fuller social life. Sometimes people can be deceived into developing an overwhelmingly single-minded perspective, making it nearly impossible to remain impartial. For instance, in Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man, the nameless narrator is brainwashed by the Brotherhood into adopting a purely Communist approach to life.However, after confronting many problems and dilemmas concerning the political party, he finally realizes that he had blindly accepted all the pre-packaged principles, wasting his life as a tool of the Communist party and forfeiting his intellectual independence. Discoveries, especially in the scientific realm, can be doubly adversely affected by a lack of objectivity. Since scientific discoveries are based on observation, objectivity problems associated with observation will lead to inaccurate conclusions regarding discoveries.

Additional problems due to bias can occur in the analysis of data collected for a scientific xperiment. In an experiment I performed in my chemistry class, almost all of the students incorrectly analyzed the data. However, enlightened with the knowledge that zero percent error in observations is never possible, we were satisfied with the results. Our single-minded opinions regarding the analysis led to incorrect conclusions. If the students had attempted to set aside their biases and pursue the goal of objectivity, it is less likely they would have made this type of unnecessary error. Neutrality opens up many doors to enhanced discoveries, observations and conclusions.In most aspects of life, including social, political and scientific, people benefit by maintaining open minds.

Approaching a topic from various sides is essential to fully appreciating all the issues and reaching best-informed conclusions. People arguably have a moral responsibility to utilize the brains given them by God. In addition, it is dangerous for a community when its members abdicate their obligation to make well-informed decisions affecting fellow citizens. Pursuit of an objective mind is of paramount importance in more ways than people usually consider.