Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Implicit Bias

There is so much to debrief from last nights presentation by Anne Sibley O'Brien and Krista Aronson.  They were truly brilliant!  I will post more notes and links later but will start with the implicit bias test that was mentioned several times.

This study, out of Harvard, measures rapid responses from individuals attempting to capture our unconscious preferences, attitudes, and biases.  This is important for two reasons.  One is that many people know in their conscious mind that discrimination is unfair (and illegal) and would never intentionally practice bias but might be unwittingly making snap decisions and judgements that go unexamined because of an assumption that "I'm not prejudiced."  If we recognize that we might, in fact, carry unconscious bias and that it is not our fault (initially) we might take more responsibility for examining our histories, our stories and our prejudices without guilt and shame but with ummph for aligning our intention and our action.