Implicit Bias

Implicit Bias Training

Broadly speaking, implicit bias is varying degrees of stereotyping, prejudice, and/or discrimination below conscious awareness in a manner that benefits oneself or one’s group; it involves limited or distorted perceptions of others. It is everywhere and affects everyone. WE ARE ALL BIASED. The question is: what is the extent to which our bias affects others? The effects of bias are often insignificant such as buying food for your children at a restaurant while not doing so for the children of strangers. This decision is not something most parents really think about. We all except the notion that parents treat their kids better than other kids at implicit and explicit levels. Implicit bias, however, can also impact significant life outcomes such as judges giving longer prison sentences to ethnic minorities than White Americans, doctors providing worse care to African Americans, or being less likely to hire an obese rather than regular-weight person. These three findings have been confirmed by researchers and remain true after matching privileged and disadvantaged groups along many important dimensions.

Research also shows that 75% of Americans show a positive bias toward White Americans. Although rates vary by race of the respondent, no other racial group is viewed more favorably the Whites. Showing a preference for or against any particular group does not mean that you are prejudiced or will discriminate, but it does suggest that you have been exposed to certain associations between specific groups and specific traits/characteristics and have stored them in memory.

Dr. Marks and his team have developed 40-minute, 3-hour, and full day (7-hour) training sessions that address this very important topic. The workshops are highly interactive, involve introspective exercises and small group dialogue of difficult topics, completing a measure of implicit bias (in the 3-hr and 7-hr workshops), and address the following questions:

  1. What is implicit bias?
  2. What does implicit bias look like in the real world?
  3. How implicit bias measured?
  4. How does implicit bias affect the target of bias?
  5. How can the potential impact of implicit bias on behavior and outcomes be reduced?

Implicit bias training is strongly recommended for education, law enforcement, judiciary, corporate, and healthcare organizations as well as other entities in which implicit bias has significant impact on disadvantaged groups of people.

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