According to the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, implicit bias refers to “the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Implicit biases are activated involuntarily, unconsciously, and without one’s awareness or intentional control.” (emphasis mine)
Most of us would like to believe we are unbiased when considering others. We’d like to think we are neutral about other people’s race, especially.
But research overwhelmingly shows that every one of us carries racial bias. Racial bias is so deeply embedded in our society and systems that we often aren’t aware of its presence or its effects. And those deep, unconscious prejudices negatively impact entire communities.
Yes, racism is a systemic problem. But we won’t be able to uproot systemic bias until we are better able to identify and acknowledge our own individual prejudices.
Check out the resources below to learn more.
FEATURED VIDEO: An Introduction To Unconscious Bias
PDF: State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2014 by the Kirwan Institute
YOU TUBE VIDEO PLAYLIST: Implicit Bias: Unconscious Racial Prejudice
ONLINE ASSESSMENT: Implicit Association Test
The IAT is a battery of bias tests created by researchers at Harvard’s Project Implicit. To take any of the assessments, you will need to create a login and fill out some demographic information. If it helps to know, it took me about 20 minutes to sign up for an account and take one test. Once you have created an account, you may take as many assessments as you’d like.
- People overestimate the size of Black men, perceive them as more threatening than white men, study finds by Amina Kahn
- The Science of Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men by Chris Mooney
- How Systemic Racism Entangles All Police Officers — Even Black Cops by German Lopez