Definitions

notational

Notational bias

Notational bias is a form of cultural bias that is incurred when the available notation to describe something introduces a bias in the human ability to approach it.

An example is the standard notation used for sheet music in the West, which may provide a limited ability to describe the melodies of the musical systems used in other cultures. Another example are questionnaires with precoded responses, omitting potentially more appropriate responses.

Computer programming languages provide another example. Each programming language provides a notation which can introduce a bias in how problem solving is approached. For example, if a programming language makes it easy to notate a hash table then hash tables are more likely to feature in the programmer's articulation of the algorithm used to solve a problem.

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