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I am looking for a word or phrase (possibly of the form "____ bias") that describes the bias felt by members of a profession towards their own profession, some of examples of which might be:

  • An author is more likely to write about characters who are themselves authors, a playwright to write about playwrights, and a painter to paint about the experience of painters.

  • An engineer will tend towards trying to solve the problems faced by other engineers.

  • A politician is most attuned to the issues faced by people who work in politics.

Example sentence:

The engineers don't seem to feel the new project is as important as the old one, but that might just be their _____ bias.

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    It's an aspect of parochialism. Every parish has its own traditions. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 22:33
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    @JohnLawler interesting, that does seem to be related. I had been looking over Wikipedia's List of cognitive biases and not finding anything, but maybe this isn't really a cognitive bias; after all, it doesn't necessarily lead to any inaccurate beliefs, just skewed preferences.
    – Owen
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 22:41
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    Possibly in-group bias or favoritism or selection bias. Related is the "if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it's a nail."
    – mkennedy
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 23:11
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    See related question and answers: english.stackexchange.com/questions/239900/on-professional-bias
    – JEL
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 0:16
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    @JohnLawler After giving this a few months of thought, I'm convinced that parochialism is the best choice. Alas, it's not an answer! If you'd make it one I'd be happy to accept it.
    – Owen
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 1:39

5 Answers 5

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The engineers don't seem to feel the new project is as important as the old one, but that might just be their _____ bias.

In most contexts, the answer would simply be "professional bias", but if the context is about one firm versus another, it could be "company bias" or "corporate bias".

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Collegiate Bias / Collegial Bias

Although colleagiate is defined in relation to the word college, the word has generalised to also apply to colleagues or peers in a profession. The alternative word collegial suggested by @TheNate is similar and may be preferred due to its closer relationship with colleague.

Your question requests a word indicating a bias towards members of someone's own profession. Professional bias is a candidate, but the term carries a negative connotation, akin to a blind spot. Collegiate / collegial bias refers more strongly to the (positive) peer relationship than to the professional task. The idea is that to a person with a collegiate / collegial bias, peers tend to come to mind before non-peers.

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    'Collegial bias' sounds more right, spelling notwithstanding, but I like your answer. Could go with 'professional", "peer", or even "communal".
    – The Nate
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 7:29
  • @TheNate Good point. I've added it to my answer. Thanks!
    – Lawrence
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 9:05
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partisanship

A partisan is "an adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, especially a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance."

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/partisanship?s=t

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Sounds like chauvinism

Prejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind: "the chauvinism ... of making extraterrestrial life in our own image" (Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr.)

American Heritage Dictionary

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I feel like this could be Confirmation Bias ('Myside bias' according to wikipedia, which sounds more in line with your description) with some illusory superiority mixed in. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority)

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