The Propaganda Model and Bias in the Media

The “propaganda model” is essentially a theory that seeks to formulate the pattern of biases expressed by the media and predict what principles and agendas will be prioritized and advanced according to the what news is deemed “worthy” or “unworthy”. News worthiness is characterized by several factors including ownership and control, advertising, sourcing, flak and anticommunist ideology, all of which act as filters that news passes through and is eventually diluted by. This paper will present a detailed explanation of the mechanisms of the propaganda model and use the paired case study method to provide a look into how news becomes distorted, as evidenced in past New York Times articles on Venezuela and Kyrgyzstan of whom are foe and friend to the United States government, respectively.

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Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman define the propaganda model as “an analytical framework that attempts to explain the importance of the U.S. media in terms of basic institutional structures and relationships within which they operate.”1 The model seeks to portray how and why U.S. mainstream media functions the way it does, functioning on the basis of several key factors at play that predict this behavior. First and foremost, to understand why a propaganda model even exists one must understand that the media is a business driven by profit. Whether it is just to remain competitive or to make a tidy profit, the prospect of financial gain inevitably grows to outweigh the ability or desire to produce quality, unbiased journalism. News firms require financial backing to compete among other news firms, and in order to gain such backing they must capitulate to the will of their ownership. What this means is that news companies cannot afford to make those who finance them look bad, and as result, journalism succumbs to the restrictions imposed by its ownership whether it wants to or not. Combine the regulations of ownership with the views and interests of powerful organizations such as the U.S. government and what you have as a result is a series of “filters” through which any and all news must pass before it is released to the public. Ownership, acting as a filter in itself, ties into a similar filter which is advertising and funding. Newspapers have to gather and maintain a significant degree of advertising in order to adequately cover production costs without increasing the price of the newspaper. Advertising creates competition among news media to attract advertisers, and as a result, news mediums such as newspapers attempt to get customers to pay attention to their ads more so than the news in order to please the companies who fund the paper. There is no doubt that media becomes distorted by this filter, as the newspaper companies have to please their advertisers in order to continue getting their support and finance. Further along the filter path is sourcing, which occurs when media outlets focus their resources on locations where they can count on major news stories to happen. This obviously demonstrates bias on part of the news company, but in a sense it is an unavoidable obstacle as even the largest news corporations could not possibly be everywhere that a news story might occur. Newsworthiness becomes a key player on this stage, in that news companies must carefully pick and choose which stories to investigate and where to be to get the facts they need. Corporate interests take control when journalists chose to obtain their information from these sources and, as a result, journalists typically avoid publishing stories which would damage the reputation of said sources and instead must publish the “facts” as given to them. When popular opinion comes into doubt or question, corporate interest make great attempts at countering any negative light shed upon them with the use of flak. Flak is basically any form of a targeted negative response to a damaging claim meant to discredit that claim and those who are behind it. Flak machines are often produced by corporations seeking to defend themselves, and media outlets can be targeted by these machines if their news is unfavorable. Media bias is strengthened by flak when news companies, who chose to avoid triggering it, produce stories with intentional distortions and omissions. Another filter powering the propaganda engine comes from the United States’ deep rooted hatred of all things communist. The U.S. government has a starring role in the manipulation of the media, often using its influence to sway public opinion towards a particular agenda. From this sprouts the concept of “worthy” and “unworthy” victims, where the government will chose which stories to publish and in what way such that it can garner the necessary emotion towards a specified cause. This is a critical component to the propaganda model and with it we can see media bias at work, as we investigate news reporting on two countries that are quite similar to one another in their relationship to the U.S. With the help of the propaganda model, we will examine Venezuela, which is a considered a foe to the U.S., and Kyrgyzstan, a friend to the U.S. The paired case study method takes these two countries, which have similar populations, possess important assets for the U.S., and have both endured social unrest against their respective government, and compares news reports from the past few months about each as published by the New York Times. This method makes it possible to observe the fairly strong media bias that goes largely unnoticed.
Following the rise to power of President Hugo Chavez, U.S.-Venezuelan relations have dwindled amid rising tensions between the two countries, especially after a U.S. attempt to overthrow Chavez failed resulting in Venezuela cutting off all ties with the U.S. In this light, the U.S. considers Venezuela a foe, and the propaganda model would predict that past news stories would reflect the country in a mostly negative light with minimal coverage regarding victims or sympathy and primary focus on criticizing the country’s president and government. The following page portrays a compilation of news articles that have been written within the past 11 months covering different topics from both Venezuela and Kyrgyzstan. The table shows how the articles produced by the New York Times follow the propaganda model.
After examining several articles, this table clearly shows that a strong focus is placed on criticizing the Venezuelan government. The U.S. is attempting to sway public opinion against Venezuela, as most of the articles are targeted towards President Hugo Chavez’s rule and how his regime has negatively affected the country. In complete contrast to this trend can be observed in the New York Times’ reporting of events in Kyrgyzstan, who are considered friend to the U.S. With the many valuable resources offered by Kyrgyzstan, such as air space and fuel, the U.S. is on good terms with the country and provides humanitarian and military assistance to support political, educational, and economic reform. The table shows that a majority of the articles concentrate on support of the country, including several news stories about victims in the country in order to garner sympathy. Almost all of the articles examined shed Huge Chavez in a negative light; two articles discuss the arrest of an “opposition” figure by President Chavez, and several also talk about his control over newspapers and cable television as well as the government mandated black outs that occur daily in Venezuela. The articles written in Kyrgyzstan make a lot of mention to opposition and violence within the country, in an attempt to divert focus from the country’s government and convert them to victims. Examining the articles more in depth one finds several examples of “unsupport” for Venezuela, such as the case in one article about the critic of Chavez who was arrested, where the NY Times writes “The arrest of Mr. Zuloaga comes at a time when Mr. Chavez’s government is adopting an increasingly harsh approach to dealing with the president’s critics.” This displays a direct criticism of the Chavez government, and in that same article the NY Times further goes on to hurt the image of Venezuela when they say “Mr. Alvarez Paz also said that Venezuela had been transformed into a center for drug trafficking in South America. That assertion has also been made repeatedly by the United States government and in independent media investigations.”2 In following the propaganda model, the NY Times is highlighting the “bad” in the country, such as when they make several references to the fact that civil liberties are slowly being eroded in the country, as when they quote “A coalition of more than a dozen opposition parties said in a statement that Mr. Alvarez Paz had been arrested for a “crime of opinion” in an attempt to silence criticism and encourage a climate of self-censorship.”3 As the propaganda model would suggest, very little sympathy and support is reflected upon for Venezuela and from the news articles examined, only three make any reference to tragedy or hardship in the country. In one of the few articles regarding victims or sympathy for the country, one article that talks about 9 deaths in a Venezuelan cargo ship fire is only 97 words long, whereas an article discussing a government satire newspaper that has angered President Chavez and lead to his threatening of tighter Internet controls has 1,157 words. Compare this to the articles written about Kyrgyzstan, where one particular article discussing victims of violence in Bishkek has 1145 words describing the event in strong detail to convey sympathy. A glaring example of “worthy” and “unworthy” victims can be seen in a comparison between the two countries in reference to the articles of violence: in the story about the 9 deaths on the Venezuelan cargo ship, the NY Times writes “Six of the dead crew members were from the Philippines and three were Greek, the Venezuelan Navy said. One of the injured crew members was reported in “delicate condition.”5 However, in the article about the violent protests in Kyrgyzstan, the NY Times shows significantly more sympathy and detail when they go as far as to include an account of one victim; “Taland Borgulev, a 36-year-old mechanic, had a blood-soaked bandage wrapped around a bullet wound on his thigh. All had joined the crowds in capital for what they thought would be a peaceful protest against a corrupt and authoritarian government — only to be cut down in a hail of bullets.”5 There is a very apparent distinction in here in the level of detail that the NY Times gives when describing the violent stories from each country. The victims in Venezuela, being considered a foe to the U.S., have become an “unworthy”, and those in Kyrgyzstan, a friend to the U.S., are “worthy” victims so they sympathy can be evoked from their tragedy.
The propaganda model, while quite accurate, is not always perfect at predicting the trend of news stories about a particular country. One article discusses a rather lengthy news story discussing grave robbing in Venezuela. A lot of attention is also given to Venezuela’s budget and energy crisis including several quotes from people who are angry at President Chavez, such as, “We’re paying for the mistakes of this president and his incompetent managers, “said Aixa Lopez, 39, president of the Committee of Blackout Victims, which has organized protests in several cities.6 The propaganda model, accurate as it may be, is not always correct, whereby the model would predict that only minimal coverage would be granted to news involving tragedy, however, over 1000 words are written in this particular article entitled “Cemetery Plunder Shows That in Venezuela, Even Death May Not Bring Peace.” This is the only article of its kind in the series of Venezuelan news stories examined as shown by the ratio of support to criticism of 1:6.3. Similarly, the propaganda model is not followed in an article entitled “Jet Fuel Sales to U.S. Are an Issue in Kyrgyzstan” because it discusses Kyrgyzstan accusing the U.S. of allowing family members of the exiled president to obtain significant contracts in supplying jet fuel to a base outside of Bishkek. With the propaganda model in place, it seems quite apparent that the NY Times does in fact pick sides, and object journalism seems to be a near impossibility. Further proof of this media bias comes from back in 2003, where a man named Francisco Toro was hired by the NY Times as an editor even when it was well known that he was a very strong anti-Chavez activist. A news article from that period talks about how that very reporter quit his job as a NY Times editor over conflict of interest, and it was further mentioned that hiring a biased news reporter to cover Venezuelan news was not the first time the company was in violation of their “standards of objective and disinterested reporting.”7 Toro was well known as an opposition activist, and his participation in numerous protests and organizations against Hugo Chavez was not only known by the NY Times prior to his hiring, but they tried to hide this information as well.7 With so much energy spent criticizing the policies and cabinet of President Chavez, several reports are laden with distortions and misconceptions on policies being implemented in the country. Take for example a NY Times editorial from Venezuela which criticizes a statement regarding the nationalization of an electric company and the telephone company CANTV. The NY Times fails to mention that CANTV has a monopoly on telecommunications, as it is the only non-cellular telephone company in the country, and it was privatized during the term of impeached former President Carlos Andres Perez resulting in massive protest and violence.8 The NY Times is quick to condemn the policies of a “foe” country, and in doing so fail to understand why the country implements such policies, where in the aforementioned example, a nationalized phone company would prevent monopoly and ensure Venezuelans have access to telecommunication services.8 The distortions made by the NY Times very much supports the propaganda model, and with Kyrgyzstan as a “friend” country, the model would predict little to no distortions or omissions, as news sources generally try to tell few lies if possible.
So can we ever hope to have unbiased media? With so much dependence on advertising, the constraints of ownership and the multitude of other filters that “clean up” our news, it is likely that the answer to that question will remain an indefinite no. How does this reflect upon our society? The beauty of enlightenment is that it is there when we finally realize and chose to accept it, but it seems that we may be unable to grasp onto enlightenment in the media even when we are ready and willing to receive it. This paper has shown that bias in the media simply cannot be avoided; a journalist who wishes to remain purely objective and unbiased will always be chained to his “cave” no matter how close he gets to the exit. As long as there is bias in the media, we will be continuously subject to an illusion that manufactures false consciousness, with “tuning out” as our only hope of avoiding it.

Chomsky, Noam, and Edward Herman. Manufacturing Consent. 2nd. New York: Pantheon Books, 1988. xi. Print
Chavez Critic Is Arrested, Then Freed, In Venezuela: [Foreign Desk] Simon Romero.  New York Times.  (Late Edition (east Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Mar 26, 2010.  p. A.4
Venezuela: Arrest of Opposition Figure Is Criticized: [Brief] The Associated Press.  New York Times.  (Late Edition (east Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Mar 24, 2010.  p. A.8
Venezuela: 9 Die In Cargo Ship Fire: [Brief] The Associated Press. New York Times.  (Late Edition (east Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Dec 26, 2009.  p. A.10
Kyrgyzstan’s Deposed President Is Urged to Seek Exile: [Foreign Desk] Michael Schwirtz.  New York Times.  (Late Edition (east Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Apr 10, 2010.  p. A.3
As Blackouts Hit Energy-Rich Venezuela, the President Tells People to Cut Back: [Foreign Desk] Simon Romero.  New York Times.  (Late Edition (east Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Nov 11, 2009.  p. A.6
Giordano, Al. “NY Times Reporter Quits Over Conflict of Interest.” Narco News Bulletin 1.27 (2003): Web. 1 May 2010.
Golinger, Eva. “Confused About Venezuela?” NY Latina Journal (2007). Web. 1 May 2010.


Evaluation of Conservative and Liberal Media Bias

Media Bias: The Left, or Right?

 It has been an ongoing debate regarding media bias between the liberal and conservative values. The allegations for each of the parties being prejudiced between one another come out more so during political elections. Anything revolving around a political debate tends to turn into an all-out brawl between the two parties. Accusations are thrown back and forth; one to the other. Studies have shown in the Gallup poll, that the media outlets display favoritism more so towards the liberal point of view versus the conservatives. They stated that, “The majority of Americans believe that the mass media slant reports in favor of the liberal position on current issues.” These views are plainly evident to see regarding the disputes over the 2008 election as well as gun laws/rights, and the media has had an enormous hand in swaying its viewers to the left.

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 Notably, many media outlets use things such as newspapers, radio, television, and the internet to their advantage with a liberal point of view. They use these outlets as a tool to make it a point, ensuring the people that the liberal way, is the only way. There are many popular media outlets such as Cable News Network (CNN), National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and The New York Times that highly favor the liberal position. Cable News Network is a widely popular news outlet for people across the country. This news company tends to shed negative light upon the Republican party and their beliefs.

 Throughout mainstream media, on numerous accounts, people often wonder how credible their sources can be throughout the political elections and current issues within their country. A primary example of liberal media bias is evident in the fact that the reporters only stream the democratic headlines and stories. They are dedicated to exhibiting stories involving the constructive things the Democratic party does, and only account to one side of that political party. Ben Shapiro stated, “The Washington News Post called me and asked how you can determine if a media source is credible or not. I said you have to look at two things: are they open with their bias and do they run stories that counter their bias?” Most media sources tend to sway to one side or the other and do not run news stories that counter the other political party. This is a display of bias within their outlet. They solely focus on endorsing one political party, which in this case is the liberal view, and exposing stories about the Republican party that many have deemed to be ‘fake news’. Among these media outlets, it is clear that the headlines are biased based to the opinions of the news reporters. They pick the stories that they want to report and how they want them to be covered. If this continues to happen, it will become a constant cycle and the other political viewpoint will never be displayed.

 Because of all of the media outlets, you will be able to find things that support your point of view. There are many websites and news channels that lean in one direction more so than the other, but the most marketable media sources favor the democratic party. They tend to attack the other political party and have lack information on the opposing views of their stories, which is described as a counter bias. In order to not be considered biased, you would need to obtain both sides of the parties and display diversity within the content you post. The New York Times, CNN, and many others lack in this array of broadcasts. They only present one-sided stories that involve the Democratic party, endorsing their news, and catering to themselves. In this video Ben also stated, “Not everything that comes from the New York Times is false, it may be that the angle they are giving you, is an angle that you don’t like or an angle that doesn’t reflect underlying truths.” The facts of the stories may be correct, they are just approached in an angle that leans toward the left-wing of the political spectrum. They use these angles to sway the stories in the view of a Democratic standpoint.

 Considering the media’s bias and one-sided viewpoint, unbiased reporting is extremely vital, so the citizens can be informed on what is going on within the world around them. “Reporters are given orders on how to slant the news so that there’s a liberal political benefit. Before a story is published on-air, online, or in print, it’s distorted so that the liberal political viewpoints are promoted, while conservative beliefs are suppressed.” The mainstream media solely focuses on presenting factual information, but they present it in the point of view of a liberal or a member of the Democratic party, which comes off as biased to that specific political party. When media reports the stories, opinion is favored over facts. An antithetical view is excluded and the comments within the reports are not arbitrated in a non-partisan way.

 Moreover, media bias has been said to go back for decades, especially between the two political parties. An example of mainstream media bias in the liberal standpoint is the presidential election in the year 2008 where “Media outlets were criticized for helping Barack Obama win the White House while portraying the John McCain and Sarah Palin in a poor light. The Katie Couric interview that skewered Palin is one example that conservatives point to that gives evidence to their claims.” McCain was extremely disappointed, feeling as if his campaign had been extinguished due to comments and reports made by television anchors and news journalists that sided with Barrack Obama and his campaign. This example of democratic media bias could have a negative effect on the public’s opinion. Any type of media bias reflects negatively upon the citizens public opinion. It is bad for democracy. Media bias can sway people solely because of the angle they display their reports on. They present them with the information they want to hear and see by overlooking the issues. The media reporting these stories in the light they want to show them in could cause the publics personal opinion to gradually fade away. With the persuasion they present while covering news stories, they will begin to believe everything they hear and see as opposed to developing their own opinion about an issue or political matter. The defamation of McCain and praising of Obama lead to the people leaning to the democratic party in the 2008 election.

 Another example of bias in the media outlets is the issue upon gun control. This has been an ongoing debate between the democratic and republican parties for years. The Democratic party is tremendously supportive of the gun control law. They believe that citizens should not be allowed to own a firearm, even if it is for the sole protection of them. Liberals have pushed this law to be passed for many years and will not stop until they enforce it. Questionably, but not surprisingly, “CNN Town Hall on Wednesday night only featured questioners who supported gun control.” This represents media bias because when having a debate over gun control laws, they only have supporters of this law being passed. Questioners opposed to restricted gun laws and avid supporters of the second amendment are openly excluded. The media bias on gun laws impacts the public opinion, trying and making everyone to perceive that guns are extremely macabre. There have been very many cases in where innocent people have been murdered with firearms because the wrong people got ahold of them, but also these said firearms are a source of protection for the people of this country. The media always unveils the gruesome stories of shootings and fails to include reports of guns being a source of protection for the people.

 Through all of the research and obvious depictions from media, it is easy to see the weight that is put on expressing liberal views. A poll that was recently taken for media journalists found that “Of the 462 people surveyed, 17.63% called themselves “very liberal,” while 40.84% described themselves as “liberal. When you add it up, 58.47% admit to being left of center. Along with that, another 37.12% claim to be moderate. In fact, a mere 0.46% of financial journalists called themselves “very conservative,” while just 3.94% said they were “somewhat conservative.” That’s an unarguable 4.4% of the total percentage that leans right-of-center. That’s a ratio of 13 “liberals” for every one “conservative.” This poll plainly exhibits that the mainstream media outlets of today are exceedingly biased to the liberal political views. In result of this, there is no variety between political views, and they convey no exposure to all sides of the political spectrum.

Annotated Bibliography

The American Revolution against British Gun Control,

“Ben Shapiro Talks Media Bias and Gun Control – CNN Video.” CNN, Cable News Network, 18 Mar. 2018,

Gallup, Inc. “Americans See More News Bias; Most Can’t Name Neutral Source.”, 17 Jan. 2018,

Halbrooks, Glenn. “Does the Media Have a Liberal Bias?” The Balance Careers, The Balance Careers,

MacAskill, Ewen. “US Election: McCain Accuses Media of Bias towards Obama.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 22 July 2008,

Report, The Rubin. “Ben Shapiro on Fake News, Crumbling Mainstream Media, and Russia’s Hacking (Part 3).” YouTube, YouTube, 15 Dec. 2016,

Robb, David. “Gallup Poll: 62% Of Americans Believe News Is Biased & 44% Say It’s Inaccurate.” Deadline, Deadline, 20 June 2018,

“Why Has Trust in the News Media Declined?” The New York Times, The New York Times,


Research proposal on classroom gender bias

This paper is a research proposal that will offer an extensive examination of the sources and effects of gender bias that occurs in the classroom. After a literature review on the subject, this paper will outline a research task, which will suggest a future means for deepening the understanding of gender bias in classrooms. The hypothesis of the study is that having educator awareness alone will not be sufficient in eliminating bias.

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The Problem
The problem of gender bias in the classroom, particularly in terms of differential treatment, has been widely and heatedly debated as well as published in academic and popular literature for years (Beaman, Wheldall, & Kemp, 2006). The debate has been researched and can be traced back throughout the twentieth century, to when it intensified significantly in the 1970s, when researchers began to look more intensely at the particular treatment that boys and girls received from their teachers in a classroom setting (Beaman et al., 2006). There is, although not surprisingly, been variation in research and conclusions over the subsequent years, but with further investigation of a small section of the literature on the subject over that period reveals that there is significant evidence to suggest that there is institutionalized gender bias in classrooms. In simple terms, boys and girls are treated different by educators by efforts of their gender alone, surprisingly, even when all other factors have been present and accounted for.
The extending implications of this problem should be readily apparent. Almost wholly unintentional, gender bias in the education system is so prevalent, that even when teachers do make a genuine effort to change their behaviour in regards to biased or differential treatment, subtle forms of it still creeps in. (Beaman et al., 2006; Swinson & Harrop, 2009). The importance of recognizing and eliminating this bias is evident in the arguing of making single gendered classroom and creating two educational curricula, one that will severely shorten the ambitions and accomplishments of students (Brannon, 2008; Frawley, 2005). Although studies have revealed that many teachers are unaware of their differential treatment, it must be the goal of the teachers and educators to believe that he or she is not above this kind of behaviour and to recognize that gender bias in the classroom is present more often than not. Educators must be trained to recognize how to recognize this behaviour, and how they can develop strategies that can be employed to lessen the effects of gender bias in the classroom. Only by doing so, can educators hope to provide an educational experience for all students that enhance their ability to learn and achieve educational success, rather than hinder the experience based on nothing more than gender (Frawley, 2005).
The goal in this paper is to outline a research approach that will hopefully help move educators closer to the realization of gender bias involvement within their own classrooms. As such, I will begin with a literature review on biases in the classroom to familiarize readers with some of the significant conclusions that other researchers have drawn over the past decades in examinations into gender bias in the classroom. The proposed research will examine the important question of whether or not making teacher’s conscious of the gender biased behaviours has a positive impact on reducing such bias. In other words, can we reduce gender bias in the classroom simply by making educators aware of it and providing them with some basic scholastic tools to use in order to treat their students on a more evenly based level of gender? The hypothesis given is based on a plethora of previous research that suggests that gender bias has become far too institutionalized, both for teachers and students, for such a simplistic plan to be effective (Tournaki, 2003). The information that was researched and developed previously in the literature review will play a significant role in helping readers develop thoughts and put into context, the importance of this proposed study and its results.
Literature Review
Starting in the mid-1970’s, likely with the rise of the feminist movement in academic research which also occurred during this time (Beaman et al., 2006; Brannon, 2008), questions regarding gender and gender bias really started to come into focus in much of the educational research. In particular, researchers were interested in knowing whether or not there was a statistically significant preferential treatment of boys over girls in the classroom. By the late 1980’s, more than eighty studies had come to the same conclusion regarding gender differentiation in the classroom:
[…] boys attracted more interactions than girls, with girls receiving less criticism but also less instruction. Boys received both more academic and behavioural criticism than their female counterparts. Although girls were just as likely (slightly more in fact) as boys to volunteer to answer teacher questions, girls on average participated in only 44% of classroom interactions. Kelly’s finding that boys attracted more teacher attention than girls held true regardless of the gender of the teacher (although male teachers gave girls less attention than female teachers), age level of the students, subject areas, ethnic origin, socio-economic status, country, and in terms of when the study was conducted (Beaman, Wheldall, and Kemp, 2006: p. 340).
At one time, the gender bias debate was predominately based on girls being disadvantaged by boys but, now it appears as though the tables have turned with boys being placed under the microscope for their disadvantages. Girls seem to be gender biased in regards to sciences and maths whereas boys are disadvantaged by a “soft touch” approach to learning (Frawley, 2005). In effect, gender bias in the classroom was well established even as early as thirty years ago. Interestingly, the research has continued which suggests that despite this early realization, little progress has been made at finding a way of reducing gender bias or lessening the effects it has.
Lundeberg (1997) found that teachers and other educators are often utterly unaware of the differential treatment regarding gender biases that they continue to partake of in the classroom (Beaman et al., 2006; Swinson & Harrop, 2009). Lundeberg’s study consisted of 48 teachers (21 men and 27 women) that revealed that overall boys received greater amounts of attention, feedback, and praise from the teachers compared to girls. The researchers suggested a number of techniques for reducing this bias and increasing classroom equity, such as tracking student responses, alternating interaction between male and female students, and encouraging teachers to not choose the first student to raise his or her hand.
Similarly, extensive research by Tournaki (2003) analyzed the responses of 384 teachers who were asked to respond to a case study of one of thirty-two students whose gender, reading abilities, behaviour, and attentiveness characteristics were manipulated experimentally to test teacher reactions and how it influenced them. What was found was that when these student characteristics were manipulated, the teacher’s perception of the students and predictions of their academic and social success were also affected. In particular, Tournaki (2003) found that the gender of the student had a large influence on the attitude of teachers toward those students, even when all of the other characteristics were accounted for. The implication of this study clearly shows that students will be perceived and treated differently by educators simply based on their gender characteristics. This perception will not only seep over into student’s treatment in the classroom but, it has the potential to have long-term effects and implications regarding the success of students in the classroom and in later life situations.
Swinson and Harrop (2009) conducted similar studies, but found that there was a large discrepancy in how many of the previous studies were not unanimously identifying, with consistency, the characteristics being observed. Having noticed this as a possibility of differing results across studies, a systematic examination of both boys and girls behaviours was devised that included specifically: a pupil on-task behaviour, teachers’ positive and negative responses to both pupils’ academic and social behaviour, teacher’s questions and directions/redirections. Perhaps this new detailed observation technique will set precedence for future consistent methodological studies. With a more systematic and detailed observation technique in place, the research supported that of which many other claims have; being that boy’s still received more overall communication from teachers than did girls. Results of this study confirmed that teachers spend more time talking to boys than they do girls, especially when giving instructions and redirections. Girls received an average of less than two-thirds that of boys.
Sneller (2001) points out that despite “a ban on gender discrimination in public schools […] imposed by Title IX of the Education Amendment over twenty years ago, gender bias in our educational institutions is alive and thriving” (p. 196)(Brannon, 2008). The reason for this, as the research reveals is because girls are discouraged, often unintentionally, from pursuing many academic disciplines, especially in math and science disciplines. The key word to focus on from this research is ‘unintentional’. While there are without a doubt examples of gender bias in classrooms that are purposeful and subjective, these can easily be dealt with because they are obvious and not within the standard realm of data considered to be a problem. Gender bias has become so pervasive that it has become part of the educational background noise and is more difficult to address because most educators don’t even realize they’re contributing. Worse, some may even think that whatever ideas they have, are improving gender fairness in the classroom while in fact, they are actually still perpetuating the same gender roles.
That was the case for a feminist researcher, Spender , who in 1982, taped her own classroom teaching for an analysis all the while making a concerted effort to not be biased and spend an equal amount of time interacting with both male and female students (Beaman et al., 2006). To her surprise as well as dismay, she discovered that her efforts were still in favour of an underlying gender bias. During the ten taped lessons what was revealed was that the maximum class time that was spent interacting with girls was 42%, (38% being the average), compared with boys receiving a minimum of 58% of classroom attention. For Spender, a feminist instructor and researcher that believed she was sharply aware of gender bias in the classroom, to still fail to create a gender equitable classroom hints at the hidden issues of bias against which educators must fight. Her research illustrates the problem for educators who assume that simply appearing to take a popular stance, yet making little effort to actually adopt or implement that position in private regarding gender equality in the classroom is enough to overcome the strength of the differential treatment being distributed to male and female students. It will require nothing short of a cultural shift in attitudes for educators regarding the behaviours and aptitudes of students.
Research Question
The purpose of this research, as suggested, is to put the matter of gender bias in the classroom into a sharper perspective. Obviously, the existing literature on the subject reveals that gender bias has not only been a longstanding historical issue, but also a modern day one that continues to shape educational policies and behaviours. The actions of educators because of subtle and pervasive gender bias in the classroom influences the academic as well as the potential social success of their students, in particular by limiting the options available to female students. What is worse is that most educators seem utterly unaware of their participation in a culture of bias, some even considering themselves progressive enough that they have successfully created gender equitable classrooms.
The reality, as seen in previous studies, paints a much different picture. Gender bias is alive and unfortunately a thriving part of modern education, and, what’s more, it is an issue that will be difficult to get a handle on. The importance of teachers’ predictions being negatively influenced by certain characteristics could create, for some students, particularly those with special needs, a greater risk for educational advancement (Tournaki, 2003). The focus of this research study will be to examine in greater depth the nature of that difficulty. More precisely, the author wishes to develop a research project that will focus on the success or failure of specific techniques at reducing gender bias in the classroom via raising awareness of the issue with educators. Numerous approaches are being attempted within the teaching profession: teacher-student interaction/communication, instructional styles, curriculum and instructional materials as a few of the ways educators might adjust biases within a classroom. It is the hypothesis of the author that these methods, while improving superficial concepts of gender inequity in the classroom, will fall far from the more difficult goal of altering pervasive gender biases in which all educators and students find themselves entrenched.
Like any good research proposal, it is important to define the methods employed, or that are intended to be employed by the researcher. The methods will adhere to scientific strategies of reducing gender biases. Without the ability to replicate and the potential for falsifiability, the research itself cannot be considered scientific by any stretch.
The participants for this study will be teachers and students in high school classrooms from the Kawartha Pine Ridge, Durham and Toronto school boards. This study will incorporate a ratio of 30 students to every teacher. The author would prefer to pursue as wide a sample as possible in order to reduce local variability that could taint the results. Therefore, the research should strive for a sample of at least 500 distinct classrooms consisting of 500 educators and 15,000 students. A sample size of this scale will possibly present some difficulties, but it will help illustrate the true effects of gender bias intervention techniques across a more general population in the classroom.
Two primary measures will be used to determine the success or failure of the tested techniques. The first will be based purely on the amount of time each educator gives to his or her students; male and female. Percentage of time allotted to male versus female students will be measured and tabulated to illustrate what portion of classroom time was granted to both genders. The second measure will be more subjective and will consist of two questionnaires comprised of forty questions each, and distributed to all of the teachers, as well as to a random sampling of 500 students (250 male and 250 female). One questionnaire will be given at the start of the study and will ask respondents to evaluate the extent of gender bias in their classroom setting presently. The second questionnaire will be given at the end of the study, and will ask participants to evaluate any changes in bias that they perceived were better or worse.
The procedure will be straightforward, if slightly extended due to sample size. Because it is the hypothesis of this study that improved awareness will not result in significantly reduced gender bias in the classroom, educators will be told that the study is designed to evaluate grass-root efforts to limit gender bias. The teachers will be asked to create their own plan for improving gender equity in each of their assigned classrooms, or to implement no plan if they feel that their classroom is already gender equitable. In either case, documentation of the teacher’s proposed technique will be required at the start of the study. The classrooms will be evaluated by an observer that is placed in the classroom as a teachers’ aide over the course of a fall semester via the aforementioned questionnaires and previous classroom recordings that will indicate time allotment by gender. The teachers’ aide will follow and record observations of the educators based on the categorical methods defined in Swinson and Harrop’s (2009) study: questioning, instructions and redirection, approval for academic behaviour, disapproval for academic behaviour, approval for social behaviour and disapproval for social behaviour.
Analysis and Discussion
It should be noted that the purpose of this study is not to test the success of a particular technique for improving gender equity in the classroom, but rather to make educators aware that they are being observed and tested on this matter. By formulating the study in this way, it will make the educators conscious of the potential problem and, presumably, force them into action to reduce gender inequity. The significance of the results will rest in whether or not there is any improvement in gendered time allotment over the course of the semester, as well as any altered perceptions of students and teachers over the same period.
If the results of this study support the research hypothesis, it would imply that making teachers aware of the problem of gender bias is not a successful approach for eliminating it from the classrooms. It would on the other hand suggest that the issue of gender inequity runs far deeper than can be alleviated even by the conscious efforts of educators. If, however, there are changes in time allotments over the course of the semester, and the perception of equity supports this change, it might suggest that such techniques (and even perhaps which specific ones) are effective in reducing bias.

Beaman, R., Wheldall, K., & Kemp, C. (2006). Differential teacher attention to boys and girls in the classroom. Educational Review, 58(3), 339-366.
Brannon, L. (2008). Gender psychological perspectives (5th ed.). U.S.A: Pearson Education Inc.
Frawley, T. (2005). Gender bias in the classroom: Current controversies and implications for teachers. Childhood Education, 81(4), 221.
Lundeberg, M. A. (1997). You guys are overreacting: Teaching prospective teachers about subtle gender bias. Journal of Teacher Education, 48(1), 55-61.
Sneller, J. E. (2001). The new ‘3Rs’: Gender and the science and engineering classroom. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 5, 196-202.
Swinson, J., & Harrop, A. (2009). Teacher talk directed to boys and girls and its relationship to their behaviour. Educational Studies, 35(5), 515-524.
Tournaki, N. (2003). Effect of student characteristics on teachers’ predictions of student success. Journal of Educational Research, 96(5), 310-319.


Impacts of Bias in the Media

There is a bias in media that extends well beyond simple stereotypes.  It is an insidious and pervasive kind of bias that serves no purpose except to cause subliminal reactions in the minds of the viewers, readers, and listeners of the message.  The way the media negatively portrays racial minorities continues fuels the racial biases that hide inside individuals, and therefore keeping the issue of race alive and well within communities.  There are so many covert ways that Racial minorities in America still face discrimination despite the institutional and societal changes witnessed in America these past few decades and the news and media plays an enormous role in influencing society with their documented pattern of racial bias, victimizing white people while subsequently criminalizing people of color. People of color are cast in a negative light by the media through various means, such as over-representing Black crime while simultaneously downplaying Black victimization, showing the past conduct, mannerisms, and prior interaction with authority as the reason for crimes against Black individuals, and casting them in negative roles in television and movies. The Hispanic man who plays the role of a criminal. The African-American man who plays the role of a servant. The white criminal showed as the victim, misunderstood by society.

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When examining the effects of racism in news media, one of the most significant issues is in visual displays.  According to Dukes (2017), “The content analysis of recent media coverage of the deaths of six unarmed Black males (Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Tony Robinson, and Freddie Gray) by law enforcement uncovered major recurring themes: (1) focus on victims’ physical composition (e.g., large stature) and attire, and (2) emphasis on the location where the victims were killed or lived as crime-ridden and impoverished”.  At the other end, if a white man commits a crime, like the Churchchrist shooter, they are shown in family photos rather than mugshots, and usually called ‘troubled,’ or ‘distressed.’  Both the textbook and a report by Ghandnoosh (2015), points out that “Researchers have shown that crime reporting exaggerates crime rates and exhibits both quantitative and qualitative racial biases. This bias includes a tendency, to exaggerate rates of Black offending and White victimization and to depict Black suspects in a less favorable light than Whites”.

Racial bias is a severe issue that can cause many problems in the lives of the group of people targeted, research has found “patterns in portrayals of Black men and boys can be expected to promote antagonism towards them, promote exaggerated views of, expectations of, and tolerance for race-based socioeconomic disparities” (Bell, 2011). When a crime is committed, and a Black person is involved, the media is quick to show how their past behavior was indicative of the crime, whether it’s prior arrests, juvenile issues, or even purported ‘bad behavior.’

Of all the racial minorities in the United States, Blacks and Hispanics are the most overrepresented minorities in media coverage involving violent crimes, of course, as the perpetrator of said crime.  And to no surprise, they are incredibly underrepresented when they are the victim — for example, the portrayal of Mr. Eric Garner who was killed in 2014 by an NYPD officer.  The horrific practice of victim blaming has also hit the mainstream media as a way to devalue the life of a minority.  As pointed out by Dukes (2017),  “New York Post’s editor Bob McManus described Garner as a career criminal, arrested dozens of time, but had learned nothing from them.”  “McManus went even further and blamed Garner for his own death, by stating that he was a “victim of himself…it’s just that simple’.”

There have been far too many instances of victim blaming in the media, for example, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old, Black male who was unarmed and walking home. He was shot by George Zimmerman (a White male), who had been driving saw Martin walking in the rain while wearing a hoodie in the subdivision where he lived. He called the police to report a suspicious person, then got out of his car and followed Martin, even though Zimmerman was instructed by police not to get involved. He wound up in an altercation with Martin and shot him in the chest, killing him. Zimmerman told the police and the media that Trayvon attacked him, and that began the media blame game on Trayvon. Trayvon was only 100 yards from home when shot and killed; then there is 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who was an unarmed Black man was fatally shot by two Baton-Rouge police officers, the Baltimore Sun wrote an article about Sterling’s death that begins “Alton was not an admirable man. His rap sheet is 46-pages long and includes convictions going back 20 years for illegal weapons possession, battery, carnal knowledge of a teenager, possession of stolen property, disturbing the peace, domestic abuse, and, just last month, failing to register as a sex offender'” (Baltimore Sun, 2016). Though Sterling was killed without reason, the media was quick to blame the Black victim for his own death. As we can see this type of reporting is not uncommon, and it is often dangerous for the targeted groups.  Several research studies have shown that racial minorities are over-represented as criminals or perpetrators, which leads to public hostility toward those minority groups”.  

Mastro (2018), pointed out that even outside of the news, racial biases are still prevalent in modern media. “Quantitative content analyses of the programming…reveals that the common portrayals of Blacks were as lazy, poor, and jobless.”  Even though it has started to improve since the 1980s, Black characters are less respected and more disheveled than their peers.  Analysts have reviewed the subject of negative images of Black males used for entertainment purposes. , whether through traditional imagery of Black inferiority or by using Black male characters disproportionately to represent both the victims and perpetrators of violence” (Bell).

All in all, analytic evidence suggests that even though positive changes in the portrayal have been made, the number of unfavorable stereotypes seem to persist. Even though there are many positive Black role models in real life, the number of positive Black role models in movies and television is hugely lacking. You can find white superheroes anywhere, but up until recently, there were only a couple of mainstream Black superheroes. Studies have shown that it’s vital for children and teens to see characters that look, act, and sound like them.  Dobrow (2019), states that: “There’s a relationship between low self-esteem and negative media portrayals of racial groups, in addition to an association between poor self-esteem and the paucity of portrayals of a particular group.” Movies and television that portray Black characters in a positive light can be helpful in the development of Black children. It shows that people who look like they can be a good guy. This kind of portrayal also allows them to have more positive role models who represent people like them.  These are groundbreaking films, and they are essential to help break the racial inequality in the media. Innovative movies like Black Panther and A Wrinkle In Time are excellent ways to showcase the positive strengths and abilities of racial minorities.  Be it a superhero, of the first film directed by a woman of color, help remove the stigma of racial inequality that the media portrays.

 While the media pattern of racial bias, victimizing white people while subsequently criminalizing people of color, shining a negative light on Black people and consistently portraying them in movies and TV as bad guys may not end soon.  There are some things we can do the help with the onslaught of information the media provides.  It begins with teaching our kid’s about media literacy, teaching them to read between the lines,  to determine who the message is from, and not just believing what they “want us to believe” but digging through and discovering the facts of a message so they can make up their mind.  If we do not educate our future, then out past will have been for not. Demand a form of standard news,  where if they speak of a crime, and they show photos of them a victim and accused perpetrator, they need to be equal and like photos.  Family photo of the victim = family photo of the accused, a mug shot of the accused = a mug shot of the victim.  And of course, the hardest option of all would be boycotting all forms of media that participate in the racial inequality of any kind. A significant decrease in a companies profit margin will either wake them up or put them out of business; either way, it would be a win, win situation for society.

Questions your paper should answer…did you incorporate these ideas into your essay?

Q.  What is most concerning about your particular social problem?

A. The most concerning parts of this specific social problem are the unfairness to humanity, the loss of real understanding, sympathy, and empathy of our fellow man, along with the long term damage caused by racial and implicit biases.

Q. What data supports your findings?

A. Several studies on this have been conducted, and I have included a few on my Works Cited page.

Q. What policy efforts have been made to combat your particular social problem? 

A. I could not find any current policies that were directly related the reducing racial bias in the media.

Q. Have policy efforts succeeded or failed?

A. Since no policies exist that address this specific issue, I would have to say that is an epic fail.

Q. Do you have ideas for how society can address this problem in the future? What would

 need to happen?

A. I have on ways that we as a society could help put a stop the rampant Racial bias in the media.  First and foremost, as I stated in my essay, teach media literacy to our kids. Once we can teach our kids to think critically about the information presented to them no matter what form it may be in, the better off that generation will be in terms of racial equality — of course, boycotting products and services from all types of media that portray any ethnic group, race, gender, or culture in a bad light. Last but not least demand that the media objectively portray all people: if they show a family photo of the victim, they must show a family photo of the accused. 

Works Cited


Bell, Janet Dewart. “Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys.” The Opportunity Agenda, 2011, Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys.

Dobrow, Julie, et al. “Why It’s so Important for Kids to See Diverse TV and Movie Characters.” The Conversation, Children’s Television Project, 16 May 2019,

Dukes, Kristin Nicole, and Sarah E. Gaither. “Black Racial Stereotypes and Victim Blaming: Implications for Media Coverage and Criminal Proceedings in Cases of Police Violence against Racial and Ethnic Minorities.” Journal of Social Issues, vol. 73, no. 4, 2017, pp. 789–807., doi:10.1111/josi.12248.

Entman, Robert M. “Blacks in the News: Television, Modern Racism, and Cultural Change.” Journalism Quarterly, vol. 69, no. 2, 1992, pp. 341–361., doi:10.1177/107769909206900209.

Ghandnoosh, Nazgol, and Christopher Lewis. “RACE AND PUNISHMENT: RACIAL PERCEPTIONS OF CRIME AND SUPPORT FOR PUNITIVE POLICIES.” The Sentencing Project, 2014,

Loewenstein, Antony. “White Supremacy in Australia Set the Stage for the Christchurch Massacre.” The Nation, 21 Mar. 2019,

Mastro, Dana. “Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Media Content and Effects.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication, 16 Oct. 2018,

Sonnett, John, et al. “Priming Implicit Racism in Television News: Visual and Verbal Limitations on Diversity.” Sociological Forum, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 2 June 2015,


Styles, Persuasion, and Bias in the Media, News and Journalism

The two articles provided, as well as the text discussed the styles and way in which the media and news outlets report things and events. Throughout the history of media and journalism, reporters have and still are modifying, creating and distorting the news that they present. Media plays a very large and significant role in our everyday lives. In many ways it develops one’s personality. The news media enriches and heightens our knowledge by the means of providing all kinds of different and useful (sometimes useless) information. News outlets hold a very strong and impeccable power in framing their audiences’ cultural guidelines and in molding/shaping their political disquisition. Therefore; it should be vital that the media and news institutions stay unbiased. Today, however, we see that the media reports news in a particularly bias way. Some news stations persistently emphasize a certain view (right or left wing).

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For example, if one turns on their television, he/she can clearly see that CNN are indistinguishably connected and bounds to the Democratic party just as Fox News is bound to the Republican party. In terms of style and timing, the news has not changed at all throughout time. In the text, as well as the articles, we see that news media has been stuck in a “limited time” and superficial age. Campbell talks about how the news is often reported similarly to a melodrama, in which the negative/bad things have more coverage in a “city” setting. The stories and narratives covered in the news are often short and seek to draw in the audience (especially with crime/crisis related incidents). Visually, we see that most anchormen/women are pretty, stylish and develop a sort of character for themselves.
Foxification and bias are seen in the news media very often in today’s day and age. The fine line that separated the news from entertainment has become more and more blurred throughout the years. Journalism, which once primarily and almost solely reported hard and factual news stories through the means of an objective and conventional way; has now begun reporting in an informal, entertaining, and sensational manner that is more market driven. Foxification refers to a more global, non-conventional and melodramatic (sensational) way of reporting news. Through Foxification we see three styles of news coverage which include: a more aggressive take on news reporting, a sexualized or “sex appeal” style, and a more informal and casual reporting style. Cushion and Lewis state the ways in which the news channels Fox and Sky report the news. The article goes into depth about the effects and signs of Foxification. In their findings that state that there were many “moments when sensationalism can create misunderstanding and style trumps substance.” (Cushion & Lewis, 2009) The authors report that their results show that Sky would not be the British version of Fox. I believe that it is in part due to the heavier reliance of factual and “informational-rich sources” that “run counter to ‘Foxification’.” (Cushion & Lewis, 2009)
A more entertaining and sensational reporting is seen in the case study presented in the text in many ways. For example, the narratives and story telling’s have become more melodramatic in the news today. We also see this “sex appeal” in news media through the anchormen and women that speak. Campbell states, “modern newscasts still limit reporters’ stories to two minutes or less and promote stylish male–female anchor teams, a sport “guy,” and a certified meteorologist as personalities, usually leading with a dramatic local crime story and teasing viewers to stay tuned for possible weather disasters.” (Campbell, 2017) Bias in the news media is also very abundant. The coverage that audiences’ see whether it be on Fox or any other form of news channel tends to lean towards a particular viewpoint or objective. We see this in the case study when the author states that, “try to make something significant out of the obviously trivial, voyeuristic, or narrowly relevant—like stories about troubled celebrities, attention-seeking politicians, or decontextualized stock-market numbers.” (Campbell, 2017) Fox news is a clear example that shows bias and persuasion in the news that it covers. According to the article titled, Bias in Cable News:  Persuasion and Polarization, it is estimated that, “Fox News increases Republican vote shares by 0.3 points among viewers induced into watching 2.5 additional minutes per week.” (Martin & Yurukoglu, 2017) This shows that since Fox is bounded to the Republican party, they promote and cover stories that are in favor and bias to the Republican party.
Through these articles and the text, we see that news coverage has not changed dramatically throughout history. The narratives and stories told are more melodramatic today. News outlets use sex appeal, Foxification, and persuasion/bias to promote and “sell” their stories. Today news reporting and news media is more like a market driven economy in which the audience is considered the “consumer” and the news is the “product.”  Campbell states that news media/outlets see their “viewers not primarily as citizens and members of communities but as news consumers who build the TV ratings that determine the ad rates for local stations and the national networks.” (Campbell, 2017) We see that bias and persuasion is inevitable within the news media. However, this has to do in part with the “persuasive effect of cable news and the existence of tastes for like-minded news.” (Martin & Yurukoglu, 2017) Bias is very powerful in terms of politics and culture. What people see in the media, can have a significant impact on their view of people and the world in which they live in. According to many studies, we see that Fox News and CNN have prominent effects on presidential elections. (Martin & Yurukoglu, 2017) Today we see that money controls the media and journalism. Thus, it results in biases and inaccurate information.
In reference to our discussion about quality and trash television, news coverage and media associated with new could fall under either the quality or trash section. I believe that news outlets such as Fox News and CNN may fall under the trash section. My reasoning for this, is because these news channels tend to report only the information that is in favor of their viewpoints. News channels should present facts just as they are, without omitting or exaggerating any piece of evidence. These news stations tend to be bias and do just that. They are subjective and seek to persuade their audience subconsciously into believing and thinking a certain way. However, some news outlets such as The Associated Press and BBC are more objective, and fact driven. Some sources have proven to be very reliable when it comes to obtaining real and hard information. 
Works Cited

Campbell, Richard, et al. Media & Culture: Mass Communication in a Digital Age. Bedford/St. Martin’s, Macmillan Learning, 2017.
Cushion, Stephen, and Justin Lewis. “Towards a `Foxification’ of 24-Hour News Channels in Britain?” Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, vol. 10, no. 2, 2009, pp. 131–153., doi:10.1177/1464884908100598.
Martin, Gregory, and Ali Yurukoglu. “Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization.” 2017, doi:10.3386/w20798.


The Barriers and Bias Women in Leadership Face

 Women in leadership roles in the workplace and politics have made a turnaround in progress over the past years. It is determined by research, however, that despite an improved existence of women in leadership and political positions across the world continue to be managed by men. A majority would agree that men and women make equally good leaders. This discrepancy between superficial equality and ongoing statistical inequality creates misperception; in spite of positive views of women breaking down barriers to top positions, they are, in fact, still underrepresented in governance and executive leadership roles. My research paper should offer a better insight of the barriers women encounter in business and political roles, why women are necessary for these roles, and what companies, government, and voters can do to help women overcome gender barriers and bias.

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Women face many barriers to landing top roles in organizational leadership. A most common and well- known obstacles to career progression is the selection process in which most companies use. The applicant pool for women that are qualified for promotion to top positions is small and therefore no room for advancement. According to Burke and Nelson (2000), 82% of firms declared that the absence of comprehensive supervision abilities and line knowledge was a significant supporting factor in the decisions not to promote women. However, another study finds that firms have a large application pool of women that are qualified and do not consider them for the position (Burke, et al., 2000). Another reason is that current top positions are held by men who tend to promote other men (Van Vianen & Fisher, 2002).

Another barrier that women face in the organization is the affiliation many women have with their female associates. A large number of employees have a preference to unite by related interest. Because there are a few women in top leadership roles; there are few female advisors. Laff (2006) observes that women more reserved in the organization because of their inadequate access to competent mentors. It is natural for people to seek the same class of mentors because they understand ordinarily encountered difficulties. Men do not fight the same challenges, have the same issues, and many times do not want to teach a woman. Men needs also differ from the requirements of women from their teachers. Male mentors are mostly reluctant to mentor women because they see them as more sensitive, not as skillful at solving problems, and because of the risk of sexual harassment in the workplace concerns (Hanson, 2008).

Businesses are going international, and that introduces new obstacles for women. More responsibility and higher expectations come along with senior level and top executives. Time demands and transfers of many businesses, require top management to move internationally as well. Moving appears as a well-known barrier for many women with children and an employed husband or significant other (Wellington, Kropg, & Gerkovich, 2003). Family issues have not been the most significant problem; it has been the acceptance of different practices and cultural standards. It is common for women to accept higher than that of men, a substantial number of women are unsuccessful because they are unable to take the agriculture shock and abandon in new surroundings. Women also encounter opposition in other societies to women in leadership. Many nations will merely avoid hiring or promoting a woman top leader because of their faiths and consciousness that women are incompetent of doing business in an organization effectively (Strout, 2001).

It is said by many top executives and management that women do not wish to exceed in their current roles. However, a recent study indicated that 55% of women not in supervision positions aspire to be in the highest position of their businesses (Annis 2008). Many women lose ambition to do exceptionally well because of the many barriers faced along the way of becoming a supervisor. The barriers include bias, labeling, demands of the family, and shortage of possibilities (Emory, 2008).

Many women are the predominant caretakers in addition to the positions they hold in companies (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2009). When duration restrictions and duties of a job become more crucial, promotions force them to decide between children and the profession. According to Jack and Suzy Welch (2007), there are few women CEOs, and executives who start a family due to the effect it would have on their career. On the other hand, many women have voluntarily resigned because of family decisions (Baxter, 2000; Wallace, 2008). When women have children, they are much more reluctant to journey far and work extended hours due to their household responsibilities additionally hindering her promotion possibility (Woodard, 2007; Hewlett, 2002; Lyons & McArthur, 2005).

Lastly, prior judgments of leadership skills, proficiency, and confidence may prevent women from succeeding in top leadership roles. Many organizations compare male attributes with achievement and accomplishment. These include confidence, determination, and goal-oriented leadership abilities (Jogulu & Wood 2006; Envick, 2008). Other stereotypes of women include the assumption of being meek, modest, loving, and nurturing (Eagly & Carl, 2003). These passive components are not- managerial material. People want a leader who will perform, take critique, and do what is best for the company at all expense (Nelson & Levesque 2007). Common perceptions and stereotypes of women leaders leadership styles are intimately connected (Goff, 2005; Henderson, 2004). Research in 1990 found that men appeared as goal-oriented leaders more commonly than women who look as friendly leaders more commonly than men (Marrujo & Kliender, 1992). The requirements of leadership roles have become a culturally accepted trend for men to take leadership roles because their goal-oriented style was more universally accepted (Ryan & Haslam, 2007). Because times have changed, the friendly leadership style of women has been allowed and appreciated in some situations (Jogulu &Wood, 2006).

Women’s valuable participation in the electoral office is crucial to ensuring the representative role of our government. Marginalized women are at the introductory level of office, and process to obtaining balance has nearly stopped. In a recent article, Shifting Gears: How Women Navigate the Road to Higher Office (Hunt Alternatives Fund 2014), Political Parity, a program of the Hunt Alternatives Fund, has named the obstacles women face in the running for political office, particularly in striving to advance to higher political office (such as governorships and positions in the U.S. Congress). The report uses the similarity of the “operator” and “the highway” to describe the discussion in the political science field about whether women are holding themselves back because they have less will (Lawless and Fox 2012) or whether women are held back by various dips and obstructions along the road (Baer and Hartmann 2014; Carroll and Sanbonmatsu 2013). It suggests that both the motorist and the highway are vital to any travel. Women are often surveyed to do as well as men when they campaign for office with comparable fund-raising sums and electoral victory, but fewer women decide to pursue a candidacy.

One study on the “motorist” side blames the discrimination of women in political office to a gender gap in the legislative goal (Lawless and Fox 2012). A study examined data from a questionnaire of 4,000 male and female possible candidates those who are well established to pursue candidacy and found that 62 percent of men, compared with 46 percent of women had ever contemplated running for political office, and 22 percent of men and 14 percent of women were inspired to run for office eventuality. On the “highway” side, a dependent study of 60 women candidates who have run for the U.S. Congress or state and local offices recognized barriers women encounter to running for higher office, and performance items for improving the number of women in elected positions. Among the most mentioned barriers were fundraising, which must become larger when running for Congress or a state-wide appointment. Improving relations with contributors so that when asked, contributors reply, and possessing contact to good call lists as well as campaigning while female, maintaining family responsibilities and office holding with campaigning, and the governance of private, male political networks that frequently eliminate women (Baer and Hartmann 2014).                                                                                                                 A current, revised corporate structure is developing, and it will take women with knowledge joined with men with the knowledge to make it the most significant and lucrative business. Women executives are needed because on average they are great communicators and are more inclined to be better at it than men. The Global Leadership Forecast 2014–2015 settled that gender variety in leadership means a wider variety of knowledge, which, in turn, leads to enhanced brainstorming and more massive business perks. Researchers asked leaders what would help improve their performance, and they answered: “my organization needs to start producing more clarity, more thought to developing women in leadership positions, and an environment in which everyone has an opportunity to be a leader.” By employing and developing women from different societies into an organization, it provides an excellent foundation from which to grow on.

 More American workers acknowledge women managers as being far more trustworthy than they do men managers. Pew’s “Women and Leadership” surveyed Americans in 2015 and found that 34% say women are better at managing employees, while only 3% say men are better at it. These figures do not mean women are more truthful than men; it’s a good suggestion of how substantially neutral some business settlements can be. Businesses entrust managers with deciding among choices that are not black and white, lawfully supporting, and the opportunity to lead genuinely is essential to the whole company’s accomplishment and job fulfillment.

The US government needs capable and qualified women to help run America. Women politicians are more efficient at raising unison and elevating proposals than men politicians. When our legislature shut down for weeks, the women both Democrats and Republics together reached across party lines to format solutions.

Often, we are disappointed with governments because we feel as though lawmakers do not consider our perspectives. It may be because we continue voting for the same type of people affluent men, continuously to be a voice for the people. In reality, 65% of politicians are men they are only 31 percent of the community (Rattigan 2014). We must vote for more women to have a possibility for political balance and have a house that is a representation of the society. Women in politics, do not have the ego and the motive of men to focus on power and are more aimed at getting things done.

Moreover, women in such positions are likely to bring positive outcomes for any country with the condition to have been previously deeply involved in politics and to have substantial external political connections. The more firmly house serves the law of the nation as a whole; the more balanced its policies are inclined to be. It is not only imperative to elect women in the government, but also to ensure comprehensive representation.

Gender equity has a high possibility to enhance a business, government, and the overall well-being of a population. Regardless of what many people believe, gender equity is not restricted to building support for women. “Gender equity” suggests that all have a connection to similar benefits. It fits for men and women to remove clichéd opinions about gender roles.

Gender equity in the workplace, can increase interests and improve a company’s standing. And it is also the point that it is just. Companies led by females publish more encouraged employees and higher production than companies led by men. The reasons why are argued, a Gallup poll found that people with female managers were more committed than those who have male leaders. Comparable research has discovered that women may be more encouraging, and check up on their employees more often than male managers do, which leads to ambition, engagement, and higher production rates.

Commonly, men and women observe a circumstance or dilemma from different perspectives and reach solutions accordingly. The organization can profit from multiple approaches and in-careful vision that can eventually achieve excellent production. With a gender-diverse workforce, a business can grow its client support and give better assistance. A gender-balanced team leads with surpassing business education and assist the company to obtain more sources, as well as various carriers of data. By sustaining gender equity in the workplace, the business can generate a pool of loyal, skillful, and capable women employees who play an important role in taking the company ahead. In a gender diverse workplace, good assurance forever points wholesome work practices where employees drive each other to operate at an elevated height. It is a good company practice to retain women in top leadership positions.               A diverse cabinet or government should be equal, discuss more of the matters that implement individually or extremely to women. Female politicians do not continuously address issues that are relevant to women, and male politicians do not continually dismiss these issues. Gender-equality promotes government, and the whole purpose of Government is that the people govern the ultimate control in a society. It is obvious why not including half of the human race from equal sharing in governing society by need fails democracy, comparable to allowing all genders participate equally. The countries that have the most gender equality score highest on the happiness scales and are usually more economically successful.

Women advocate for more laws intended to assist women, children, human health, and national protection. Women in Congress fought to get health insurance for women included when the Affordable Care Act was being passed, advocated for the implementation of sexual harassment prohibition and adjudication practices in the military, fought to get women involved in medical experiments, and fought for the addition of child-care vouchers in aid reform.                             Women advocate and co-advocate more bills. Women get laws declared at the equal rate as men, except for when the laws affect women, fitness, schooling, and public assistance issues. In these circumstances, bills advocated by women are likely to fall in the panel because Congressional representatives have limited women seats and lesser women’s voices. Women bring a more significant percent more federal funds home to their communities than men. Women are more likely to advocate bills in areas of civil rights, health, and education. Women bring different abilities and preferences to political practice.

We maintain the need for more women to run for public office. There happen to be several strides that can be taken as people and companies to generate an important shift in the gender gap. Before there is a change, we must be aware. It is hard to notice all the ways gender impacts work if you are not the one experiencing them. Male business administrators and supervisors should advocate for gender equity within the companies. It is in the best interest of the employers’ to encourage the female employees. According to Bentley University’s Women in Business survey, 57 percent of company scouts say that women are better job applicants than men.                                                                                                                                                                          Executives can assist women to learn management skills and make in-house changes in business settings concerning willingness. Mainly, they need to support colleges in understanding what they are looking for when it comes to internship experiences, job records, and how to interview. Some of the present circumstances to the gender gap are the internal operations of companies, who have not kept pace with the new ages. Many companies run the same way they did years before catering to men like they are the only primary caregivers of families. Conventional office-leave policies and promotion courses offer minimal room for development or variety to those ascending the corporate scale. These procedures need revision and progress.

Male leaders must be willingly involved to help women advance. They should have a more committed position in mentoring and developing women to be prosperous in the company. The economy is most balanced when every person has the same opportunity to participate. It is in the interest of all company managers whether it be men or women to end overlooking this problem and assist women to succeed.

After women start families, they often quit employment or move into lower positions that pay less. There is a logically easy solution; companies can offer a flexible schedule for women with children. Having the flexibility to work and care for a family is a sacred, and necessary, benefit. If companies do not provide and encourage flexibility, they will force women to opt-out or push them off the leadership path.                                                                        

Companies should also establish a nondiscriminatory appraisal policy. An equal appraisal policy is part of an appropriate woman-centered capability approach. It is essential to be gender-blind in both employment opportunities, and performance appraisals to stay conscious of prevailing prejudices. Leaders should be responsible for their employing choices and assessments; this is an excellent way to promote rational judgment.                

Companies should invest in their top executives of the future. Women in their mid-career are starting to believe that they are a stepchild. Managers of tomorrow are seeking to move up the corporate ladder. Businesses can assist more women in climbing the ladder and expand their channel by offering sponsoring programs, gender-bias education, employing senior executives, and networking with businesses that practice returning to work.                                                                                     Companies should give women access to external networks. One of the most effective things we can do to close the gender gap is to ensure that women have the tools they need to move forward. In 2013, the Harvard Business Review found that the shortage of access to confidential associates, particularly those associates that can provide valuable information, is one of the main obstacles to the progression of women. A recent poll exposed that almost half of business leaders or members are not familiar with women’s groups (Matejczk). Granting women an association they can acquire knowledge from, and depend on, gives them the chance to step outside of the box which raises possibilities of risk taking and increases work commitment.               Businesses should incorporate diversity into their foundation beliefs. Workplace diversity is not courteous but it is fair. 39% of Ellevate constituents acknowledge that participating leaders are beneficial in improving diversity. (Matejczk). It is in the powers of top leaders to incorporate variety into their organization’s foundation. A competing company, need to know that difference is an advantage to build an organization that adopts all workers, accepts uniqueness and promotes making contacts and continuing education.                                                                                      Lastly, companies should create an unbiased workplace, be attentive, but before anything else, educate themselves and train current and future employees regarding biases. Closure of the gender gap will not occur rapidly. There must be a combined attempt from businesses and nations to get rid of biases and allow more female leaders to be successful. The reward is well deserving of the effort when the outcome is an equal work environment and a more productive business.

 There is a need for women role models if we desire to have more women running for political offices. According to a recent study, girls aspire to be in political roles, but they need mentors. Therefore, it is not that girls do not want to compete for legislative seats, it is that only a small percent believe society encourages women to be politicians. Women also find that if they run for political offices, they would have to work extra harder than men and risk the chance of not being taken seriously.                                                                                                                              Recommended procedures expanding the representation of female politicians are as follows: selecting women that want to run; developing and improving their campaign preparation, and continuous training that features seeking politics as a profession. Provide women with political mentors and the support of other women candidates and women elected officials. Women should network with supporters who may hold a seat in the office or may elect them because they feel that they will be a successful politician. They should also strengthen networks with women’s organizations. Campaigning and office holding should be family friendly (Political Parity 2014). Several of these procedures request that external associations, such as a strengthened network of women’s organizations, become engaged in advocating women who campaign for office (Baer and Hartmann 2014; Carroll and Sanbonmatsu 2013).                                          Adhering to these proposals can potentially make a difference in promoting more women to run for political office and assisting them to exceed once they are elected. Then our institutions of government raise women’s views and policy priorities sufficiently, and the government will benefit from women’s political roles. Do not vote for women just because, vote for women so that we can make a difference in this country.

Governments, more than any other sector, are accountable for setting community requirements and for paving the way on behalf of the citizens they speak represent. In addition to aiding more women into senior roles, governments need to do more to foster diversity, including enacting and meaningfully implementing legislation, countercultural bias, and leading by example. Governments must be supportive of common equity and minority representation to knock down remaining barriers. Senseless prejudice, in both men and women, is powerful and pervasive and leaders need to recognize that unconscious bias plays a role in recruitment and promotion. It is no one’s fault that it exists, but we have an opportunity to address it and oppose its effects to achieve greater equality at senior levels. Departmental secretaries/CEOs of government agencies need to encourage diversity vocally and action. Women with the right experience and potential are everywhere, let’s support them, provide opportunities and appoint them.                                                                                                                                                                                      In conclusion, I have highlighted several significant findings throughout my research paper. It is possible, from these findings to settle on several results. First, it is essential to understand that women are perceived to have made numerous signs of progress towards equality, but this is not true. Certain inequality obstacles appear in the form of barriers, the bias that women face. It will take a lot of effort for balance to be achieved, but businesses, Governments, men, and women have to play their role. Training should be proposed by leaders, along with role models, flexible schedules, and recognized steps to overcome barriers and bias. The Government must recruit women to run in political races, train, and mentor them. Women should know the potential obstacles caused by gender bias. Women should continue their education, training, and experience because these few barriers they can control. The barriers women cannot control within businesses and politics are prejudice, stereotyping, and negative assumptions. My research paper should have provided a greater understanding of how men and women differ, especially in top positions and political roles, the importance of having women in these roles, and what companies, government, and voters can do to help women overcome gender barriers and bias.


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Issue of Self-Serving Bias and the Role of International Ethics Standards Boards

Table of Contents



A Critical Appraisal of the Role of International Ethics Standard Board for Accountants


Self-Review threat

Intimidation threat

Practice Management Issues





This paper tends to look into behaviour known as “self-serving bias” trying to look at the implications of the behaviour as provided that “Whenever individual’s face a trade-off between what is best for themselves and what is morally correct, their perceptions of moral correctness are likely to be biased in the direction of what is best for themselves. It seems likely that the judgments of auditors, who ultimately represent the interests of the shareholders but are hired and fired by the people they audit, are likely to be blinded to some degree by the incentive for client retention.  Therefore the sole reliance on professional ethics to ensure desirable behaviour is a questionable resource for audit management¹.”

This paper is divided into three sections with in-depth research and knowledge carried out on each section. The paper starts with an in-depth research into the behaviour known as “self-serving bias” and, using relevant examples, with the application of the research to the special problems of auditor’s objectivity.

Furthermore, the role of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is critically discussed and the paper comes to a conclusion with a demonstration of the application of knowledge in a case study situation which identifies and explains the ethical, professional and practice management implications with regards to the case study.

Self-Serving Bias

Given the advent of recent accounting scandals and their distressing effects on workers and investors, it’s not surprising that the public assume that the underlying problems are corruption and criminality. However, the bigger problem with corporate auditing, as it’s currently practiced, is its vulnerability to unconscious bias (Bazerman etal, 2002)

Self-serving bias refers to people’s tendency to behave inequitably when it benefits them, and they think they can get away with it (Prentice, 2000). It affects how people gather and process information, it is influenced by people’s perceived best interest and existing beliefs (Prentice P. R., 2014). (Bazerman, Morgan, & Loewenstein, 1997) opined that whenever people are faced between what is best for themselves and what is morally right, their discernment of moral righteousness is likely to be biased in the direction of what is best for themselves.

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(Bazerman, Morgan, & Loewenstein, 1997) believe audit failures are the natural product of auditor-client relationship and that it is psychologically impracticable for auditors to maintain their fairness and thus cases of audit failure would always occur. For instance, in the case of Enron, Enron was one of Andersen’s largest clients and Duncan’s career essentially hung on the success of Enron. Andersen was making a healthy $25 million a year auditing Enron and $27 million annually by providing non-audit services. Andersen also hoped to soon double that revenue to $100 million a year. In other words, Andersen put itself as a firm, Duncan as a key audit partner, and Duncan’s subordinates in a position where it was in all their best interests to conclude that Enron was in good financial shape and to keep this key client happy by approving Enron’s various financial window dressing as consistent with good accounting practices. In the shadow of such a strong self-interest, it would have been very difficult for even an auditor with the best of intentions to make objective judgments, as (Prentice R. A., 2000) has indicated.

According to (Prentice R. A., 2000), self-serving bias is both cognitive and motivational. Thompson and Loewenstein (1992) suggest three cognitive mechanisms to explain why judgments of fairness are biased in a self-serving direction.

(Moore, Tetlock, Tanlu, & Bazerman, 2006) opined that factors that causes self-serving bias are: (1) auditors are hired and fired by the client (2) auditor taking sides with clients and (3) auditors providing non-audit services. (Prentice R. A., 2000) also believes that the fact that auditors are hired and fired by their clients and incentives for client retention often make the auditors sympathetic towards the activities of the clients and thus turn a blind eye. The public tend to believe that the performance of non-audit services such as legal, advisory etc. will weaken the objectivity and independence of the audit industry.

(Prentice R. A., 2000) posits that self-serving bias is both cognitive and motivational.  (Loewenstein, 1992) suggest three cognitive mechanisms to explain why judgments of fairness are biased in a self-serving direction. Firstly, people perceiving information in a prejudiced manner for example the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate, where audiences who were pro-Kennedy tended to perceive that he won the debate while audience who were pro-Nixon tended to think that Kennedy lost (Prentice R. A., 2000).

Also, self-serving bias is displayed through selective recollection of activities performed. For instance, members of organizations tend to overvalue their contributions to its success, perhaps because they can remember their own actions more clearly than those of their colleagues.

(Moore, Tetlock, Tanlu, & Bazerman, 2006) opined that people evaluate evidence in a selective fashion when they have a stake in reaching a conclusion. Thus, they tend to focus on evidence that agrees with the conclusion or decision they would like to reach and assess that evidence in a biased way.

Tetlock (1983) argued that when the preferences of the audience are known, the probability of the decision maker’s judgement will be in accordance with the known preferences. Thus, in an audit, the effect of management’s preference as to wanting to get an unqualified audit report indirectly affects the auditor’s judgement (Moore, Tetlock, Tanlu, & Bazerman, 2006).

(Moore, Tetlock, Tanlu, & Bazerman, 2006) believed that when a certain interpretation of the evidence will benefit people materially, they tend to align their though process towards the interpretation even when they hold a clear goal of being impartial and are unaware that they are processing the information in a self-serving fashion and thus bias. For instance, in auditing Enron’s books, the auditors would be prone to searching for information that supported the conclusion that they accurately represented Enron’s financial condition and to ignoring evidence that contradicted that conclusion (Prentice R. , 2004).

A major feature of the accounting profession is the recognition and approval of the obligation to act in public interest. Thus, a professional accountant’s duty is to satisfy not only the needs of the individual client but also that of the public/stakeholders. In carrying out this duty, a professional accountant shall observe and conform with the Code of Ethics (IESBA, 2014)

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants is an independent standard-setting body that develops internationally appropriate Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.  The Code is subdivided into – (1) the fundamental principles of professional ethics for professional accountants as well as the conceptual framework. (2) the safeguards addressing threats to compliance.

The fundamental principles as proposed by (IESBA, 2014) include:

Integrity: this is the attribute of being forthright, truthful and honest in all professional and business relationships. The accountant is not to be involved with reports or information that contains statements provided carelessly. He should not also be involved with reports that contain ambiguous information which could be misleading.

Objectivity: to not allow prejudice, unfairness, conflict of interest or undue influence of others to override professional or business judgements. He should not undertake services if the professional or business dealings will overly sway his professional findings or conclusions.

Professional Competence and Due Care:  to be vast and have updated knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that a client receives proficient and expert professional services based on current developments in practice, legislation and techniques and act meticulously in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards. He should act in accordance with the needs of a task carefully, thoroughly and timely.

Confidentiality: to respect the privacy of information acquired during business and professional relationships and, hence, not reveal any such information to others without proper and explicit approval, unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to divulge, nor use the information for the personal benefit of the professional accountant or third parties. The accountant should consider the following when determining whether to disclose confidential information:

–          The type of communication required and the recipients of such information

–          Whether the interest of all parties could be negatively affected if information is divulged.

Professional Behavior: to conform with important laws and regulations and avoid any action that ill reputes the profession. He is to be honest and truthful and not make reproachful references or unproven comparisons to the work of others.

The conceptual framework was developed to enable professional accountants detect, estimate and address threats to compliance with the fundamental principles. In doing this, he considers whether the threat would compromise his conformity to the principles. If the threat is significant he further decides whether safety measures in place can adequately reduce the threat or eliminates the threat by refusing such service (IESBA, 2014).

Threats may be caused by dealings with the client or circumstances which could compromise the professional accountant’s adherence to the fundamental principles.  The threats include:

Self-interest threat – the threat that a financial or other interest will unsuitably affect the professional accountant’s findings, conclusions, decisions or deeds. For instance, a member of the audit team having employment arrangement with the audit client ow when a firm is so worried about the possibility of losing a high-profile client.

Self-review threat – the threat that a professional accountant will not appropriately assess the results of an existing judgement made, or properly review tasks carried out by the professional accountant himself or that of his team member, on which he will rely when forming his opinions and conclusions. For instance, a firm issuing an assurance report on the efficiency and effectiveness of the financial operation system which was designed and implemented by the audit firm on behalf of the client.

Advocacy threat – the threat that the professional accountant will enhance and elevate a client’s or employer’s position to the extent wherein his fairness and independence will be compromised. For instance, a firm promoting the sales of their client’s shares.

Familiarity threat – this is caused by long or close dealings with the client to the extent that the professional accountant becomes too supportive of their interest and agrees with their terms and works. For instance, the senior manager of the client having a long association/relationship with an audit partner.

Intimidation threat – the threat that a professional accountant will be prevented from acting fairly and accurately because of actual or perceived pressures from parties around him. For instance, an audit firm being threatened with litigation by the client.

There are safe measures that may eliminate or reduce the threats to the barest minimum. According to (IESBA, 2014), there are two major classes of protection that helps to reduce or terminate the threats faced by the auditors. They are:

Safeguards created by the profession or regulations – continuing professional development requirement, professional or regulatory monitoring and disciplinary procedures and corporate governance regulations.

Safeguards in the work environment: This is further subdivided into two forms of safeguards.

–          Firm-wide safeguards: for instance, audit firms emphasizing the relevance of adherence to fundamental principles, putting in place disciplinary process and systems to promote adherence with policies and procedures. as well as using different partners and engagement team with separate reporting lines for the provision of non-assurance services to an assurance client.

–          Management-specific safeguards: this includes; rotating senior assurance team members, discussing ethical issues with those charged with governance of the client organization.

Other factors that may affect auditor’s independence and objectivity as opined by (IESBA, 2014) are: gifts and hospitality, fees and remuneration, second opinion as well as marketing professional services. It is important to note that there would always be threats to an auditor’s independence and objectivity. However, the auditor in carrying out tasks should ensure or strive to maintain his neutrality by avoiding things that may easily sway his decisions.

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is an independent standard-setting body that develops an internationally appropriate Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code). Any firm of professional accountants will have to ensure that the guidelines provided in the code are followed in order to ensure that they act in compliance in with the code.

When a professional accountant identifies threats to compliance with the fundamental principles and, based on an evaluation of those threats, determines that they are not at an acceptable level, the professional accountant shall determine whether appropriate safeguards are available and can be applied to eliminate the threats or reduce them to an acceptable level

In the case of Deluxe Ltd, the firm Queens and Co a firm of certified chartered accountants will have to ensure that whatever they do is in line with the IESBAs code. A business opportunity has arisen to the firm, but this opportunity has to be properly evaluated by the firm in order to view any Ethical, professional or practise management issues. The following issues have been discovered.

Self-Review threat

A threat to the independence and objectivity of the firm will arise if the firm decides to go into business with the client as this creates a financial interest in the client and this leads to a self-interest threat as the company will not be able to act objectively and with independence as they will put themselves first when auditing the financial statements of the company as they will want to ensure they make profit.

Another self-interest threat will arise if the company will provide investment to the company as this investment is in the form of convertible debentures and this form of finance is regarded as a loan to the company, the IESBA code is very particular about the issue of firms providing loan to their client and has stated firms should not provide loans to their clients except in extraordinary cases where such client is a bank or financial institution. As stated earlier the accountant is allowed to evaluate appropriate threats and provide appropriate safeguards, but in a situation no safeguard is appropriate and therefore such arrangement should not be made.

Furthermore, another self-interest threat arises as a result of the convertible debentures, as this turn to equity at maturity which will mean queens company holding a stake in Delux ltd. This gives rise to another financial interest in the company as the company will want to ensure tier investment is secure and the market value of the company does not drop so the audit of the company will not be properly done and level of materiality will be increased and hence less detection or risks and less detection of errors and fraud in the firm.

Intimidation threat

This threat to objectivity and independence of the audit firm will arise if the company does business with the client firm as the will not be able to properly function and will not be able to act independently as whatever the audit firm does in the audit of the firm inadvertently affects the client firm and will want to ensure they are in line with the management of Delux ltd.

Practice Management Issues

The audit firm can decide to look into the business and see how long the product will last i.e. the life span of the product and compare this to the period of the retention of the audit client. If the retention period is short they can provide the finance and continue such audit or just resign if the period is not substantial

It is also important to note that the audit firm might not be able to provide the finance needed because of the falling revenues of the company and might want to get a loan to provide the client firm with the funds needed and this will lead to a lot of quality and practise issues which should be entirely avoided by the company in order to ensure they are not in a position they cannot get out of or that they regret or that will make them act unprofessionally.

This paper was divided into three sections with in-depth research and knowledge carried out on each section. The paper started off with an in-depth research into the behaviour known as “self-serving bias” and, using relevant examples, with the application of the research to the special problems of auditor’s objectivity.

Furthermore, the role of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) are critically discussed and the paper comes to a conclusion with a demonstration of the application of knowledge in a case study situation which identifies and explains the ethical, professional and practice management implications with regards to the case study.

Hopefully a demonstration of relevant knowledge in line with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) the standard-setting body that develops an internationally appropriate Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code) has been demonstrated and questions have been answered to the best standards.

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IESBA, I. E. (2014). Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. New York: International Federation of Accountants. Retrieved from

Loewenstein, L. T. (1992). Egocentric Interpretation Of Fairness and Interpersonal Conflict. 176, 180-181.

Moore, D. A., Tetlock, P. E., Tanlu, L., & Bazerman, M. H. (2006). Conflicts of Interest and the Case of Auditor Independence: Moral Seduction and Strategic Issue Cycling. HBS Working Paper, 03(115).

Prentice, P. R. (2014). The Case of the Irrational Auditor: A BehaviouralInsight into Securities Fraud Litigation. UT-Austin: McCombs School of Business.

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