what is implicit bias?

Hi Friends,

Today I would like to discuss the term implicit bias with you. Implicit bias refers to your subconscious attitudes or stereotypes that you have about a certain group of people. It can be in regards to race, gender, age, ability, etc. Implicit bias occurs with little self awareness or intent. They start developing at a young age through exposure at home, school, church, media, books, and society.
If you would like to take an assessment to see where you fall on implicit bias, here is a link that will take you to a Harvard reviewed assessment. They have a long list of assessments you can take including race, gender, and age.

So what is the problem with having an implicit bias? 

The effects implicit biases are far reaching from education to the healthcare field. In the healthcare field, implicit bias can affect how people of color receive treatments including pain management. In the education field, Black students tend to have higher expectations than their White students. On job applications, names like John will be more likely to get an interview than someone named Shaniqua. I have included links at the bottom of this post for you to review.

Ok, so I took the assessment and realize that I have a bias....what can I do to change it???? 

The good news is that implicit biases are malleable. We can change our thinking through a variety of ways, Here are a few:

1. listening to people of color when they are speaking. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable. Sometimes we white people just need to sit in that uncomfortableness until we can change our perception.   I have learned so much just from listening and valuing the experiences of the people of color in my life.

2. watching movies that portray people of color or historical events that we can learn from.

3. reading books that discuss race and that can open up our minds to new ways of thinking about other cultures. If you click on this link , it will get you to a few books I have read that has changed my way of thinking about race.

4. follow people of color on social media. If you would like a list of someone people you can follow, facebook me and I will send you info. This is an easy way that we can learn about other people's perspectives.

"The uncomfortable truth is that we live in a society in which stereotypes about groups of people are ubiquitous and it follows that almost everyone has some implicit bias."  Don Goldmann

I hope that you will take this information in and help it open up your mind to be more understanding of people who may not look or think like you.


Here is an article that discusses implicit bias

implicit bias in education
implicit bias in healthcare
implicit bias in the workplace
Transforming Perception: Black men and boys


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