Negative Attitudes, Biases, and Prejudices: Looking Down on the Obese
Everyone has certain attitudes, biases, and prejudices which are constantly evolving and reshaping the way in which we interact with or relate to the world around us. In this essay I will discuss some of my own negative attitudes, biases and prejudices in relation to how they may affect my performance as a paramedic. However, before I begin to discus my own negative views I feel that it is important to first differentiate between the three aforementioned terms.
According to Eagly and Chaiken (1993) “attitudes are formed as a result of this ongoing evaluative process. Thus, attitudes are defined as evaluations of entities, including behavior, that result in perceptions of favor or disfavor.” A bias on the other hand is a specific attitude in which a person holds an inclination towards one side when asked to choose between two or more options (Last, 1998). Lastly, where attitudes and biases hold no specific positive or negative presupposition, prejudices are a specific feeling of ill will or hatred towards a specific group, race, or religion often in the absence of rational thought. (Last, 1998)
As a paramedic, holding negatives attitudes, biases, or prejudices can seriously interfere with the level of patient care that a person might expect a variety of different ways.
In an extreme example a medic may hold prejudices that are so deeply ingrained in them that they could full out refuse a patient medical assistance resulting in possible serious harm or death. Although I have not heard of any such cases I could easily see a medic not stopping to help a homeless person because, they make the assumption that they are simply drunk and do not want to deal with them.
Another way that negative attitudes could affect a patient is if a paramedic subconsciously puts in less effort to a call which results in them missing a serious symptom displayed by a patient. For example, a...