PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

Scenario 1:

In the given scenario, a physician working in the emergency department (ED) encounters a patient in the early hours of the morning. The patient, a man in his 50s, has visited the ED twice in the past two weeks with back and stomach pain complaints. 

The ED staff suspects that the patient may be dependent on pain medication due to his frequent visits for similar issues. Based on this suspicion, the physician approaches the situation with a bias, specifically the Fundamental Attribution Error.

PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

The Fundamental Attribution Error refers to the tendency to attribute someone’s behavior solely to their characteristics while overlooking situational factors that may contribute to their actions. In this case, the physician assumes that the patient is seeking pain medication rather than thoroughly evaluating the possibility of underlying health conditions causing the pain. 

The physician’s bias leads to a limited assessment of the patient’s disease, and the vital signs are reported as usual. Consequently, the physician sends the patient home with a prescription for several pain pills.

Later that day, the patient returns to the ED and requires emergency surgery for a life-threatening condition that the physician had overlooked. This unfortunate turn of events emphasizes the consequences of biases in medical decision-making.

The physician could have employed critical thinking skills to avoid or overcome this bias. Critical thinking involves actively questioning and examining one’s assumptions and beliefs to understand a situation more comprehensively and accurately. 

PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

In this scenario, the physician could have fostered a solid physician-patient relationship, enabling open communication and trust. By engaging in meaningful dialogue, the physician could have encouraged the patient to provide more information about the pain and its progression, allowing for a more thorough assessment.

Critical thinking would involve addressing concerns about pain medication dependency directly. The physician could have expressed their respect to the patient and asked about the relationship between the pain level and previous visits. By approaching the situation with curiosity and an open mind, the physician could have gathered more relevant information to make an informed decision.

To prevent similar situations, establish consistent physician-patient relationships, especially for unplanned readmissions—continuity of care and rapport aid in understanding medical history and symptoms. Learn from past encounters, avoid assumptions, and address biases. Justify concerns with evidence and conduct comprehensive evaluations in cases of suspected dependency. PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

Scenario 2:

The incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks involving Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson highlights a different type of bias. On April 12, 2018, Nelson and Robinson, two black men, were waiting at a Starbucks for their friend Andrew Yaffe, a white real estate developer, with whom they intended to discuss business opportunities. An employee approached them during their wait, asking if they needed assistance. 

They responded negatively, explaining that they were waiting for a business meeting. Despite this, the manager informed Nelson that he could not use the restroom unless he made a purchase. Subsequently, the manager called the police on the two men for not making any purchases, even though Robinson had been a long-time paying customer at that particular Starbucks, and both men had previously used the location for business meetings.

This incident illustrates Implicit Bias, which refers to unconscious attitudes or beliefs that unknowingly shape an individual’s behavior. The manager’s actions were influenced by implicit biases that led to discrimination based on race and preconceived notions about customers who had not purchased. These biases can result in unfair treatment and perpetuate stereotypes.

PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

To reduce bias and stereotypes, critical thinking is essential. It involves questioning assumptions, seeking diverse perspectives, and actively challenging tendencies. In this incident, the manager could have used critical thinking by asking open-ended questions, listening actively, and avoiding assumptions based on biased beliefs.

Critical thinking also promotes self-awareness of biases and encourages individuals to challenge them. The manager could have consciously treated customers impartially, regardless of race or perceived intentions. This self-reflection and awareness can create a more inclusive environment.

Starbucks’ training program can be effective in preventing similar incidents. The anti-bias training raises awareness and promotes inclusive behaviors among employees. Such training has been shown to impact behavior change positively. It holds employees accountable, encourages the recognition of biases, and promotes empathy and fairness toward others.

Comprehensive training programs like Starbucks can significantly reduce bias and foster a more inclusive and equitable environment.

PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

However, while training programs like the one implemented by Starbucks are a step in the right direction, they may not eliminate incidents of bias and discrimination. Bias is deeply ingrained in societal structures and individuals’ unconscious beliefs. 

Therefore, it is crucial to complement training initiatives with ongoing reinforcement, open communication channels, and a commitment to fostering an inclusive and unbiased environment. Additionally, organizations should continuously evaluate the effectiveness of their training programs and make necessary adjustments to address emerging biases.

Scenario 3:

In the case of Benny and Delilah, siblings with opposing political beliefs, biases play a role in shaping their perspectives. Benny, who listens to conservative talk radio and follows Fox News for political news, expresses frustration with welfare and says that “most people abuse the system.” 

On the other hand, Delilah, who listens to a progressive radio show and watches MSNBC, argues that while some people may abuse the system, most use it as a temporary solution, with children being the primary beneficiaries.

Benny’s perspective is influenced by Stereotyping Bias, which involves drawing generalized conclusions about people based on limited or incomplete information. He forms a stereotype suggesting that most individuals utilizing welfare are abusing the system. This bias prevents Benny from considering the complexities and nuances of the issue and individual circumstances.

PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

The critical thinking process can be applied to recognize and reduce political bias in this situation. Critical thinking encourages individuals to question assumptions and explore different perspectives.

In this case, Benny and Delilah can engage in open and respectful dialogue, where they actively listen to each other’s viewpoints and seek to understand the underlying reasons behind their beliefs. They can foster a more nuanced understanding of the political issue by challenging their preconceptions and biases.

Additionally, critical thinking involves evaluating the validity of opinions and information. Benny and Delilah can critically examine the sources they rely on for political news and consider alternative viewpoints. 

By exposing themselves to diverse sources of information, they can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the welfare system and its impact on society. This broader perspective can help them overcome biases and make more informed judgments.

In conclusion, critical thinking is valuable for recognizing and mitigating biases in various scenarios. By fostering open-mindedness, challenging assumptions, and seeking deeper understanding, individuals can overcome biases that stem from beliefs, stereotypes, and political affiliations.  PHI H2005 Unit 4 Assignment 1 Assess and Address Bias

Critical thinking encourages individuals to engage in meaningful dialogue, consider multiple perspectives, and continuously evaluate their beliefs and opinions. Ultimately, by actively applying necessary thinking skills, individuals can promote fairer, more inclusive, and well-informed decision-making.


Capella University. (2021). Types of Bias. Retrieved from

The Atlantic. (2018). Does Starbucks Understand the Science of Racial Bias? Retrieved from

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