Unconscious (or implicit) bias refers to how we are biased or prejudicial in ways we’re not conscious of. Unconscious bias is reflected in our assumptions and stereotypes, which guide the ways we interact with, speak of, or make decisions around different groups of people or communities. For example, if we are surprised that our nurse is a man or our engineering consultant is a Black woman, that surprise is an indicator that we are holding onto an unconscious bias that a nurse or an engineering consultant should only look like a certain type of person.
Unconscious bias can be difficult to address, because none of us like the feeling of being accused of being prejudiced or discriminatory. But if we truly desire to free ourselves from preconceived judgments, we must be willing to listen and reflect when someone points out the results of inaccurate or harmful beliefs we may have absorbed from our culture or community.
Until recently, the majority of research on microaggressions has focused on asking people targeted by microaggressions about their experiences and perspectives, rather than researching the offenders. This previous research is crucial.
Unconscious bias and lack of racial diversity in visual representation causes damage in schools, communities, workplaces and places of worship across the globe. It creates a divide between those who see themselves as empowered, and those who don’t.
Our brains create categories to make sense of the world, recognize patterns and make quick decisions. But this ability to categorize also exacts a heavy toll in the form of unconscious bias. In this powerful talk, psychologist Jennifer L.