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Implicit Bias. Dr. Tim Killeen. Agenda. Definition of terms Why does this matter? Who are we? Bias – explicit and implicit What creates implicit bias? How our brains work Implicit bias in the workplace What can we do?. Definition: Implicit Bias.

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Implicit Bias


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    1. Implicit Bias

    2. Dr. Tim Killeen

    3. Agenda • Definition of terms • Why does this matter? • Who are we? • Bias – explicit and implicit • What creates implicit bias? • How our brains work • Implicit bias in the workplace • What can we do?

    4. Definition: Implicit Bias Implicit Bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.  These biases can be favorable and unfavorable and are activated involuntarily, without our awareness or intentional control.  They reside deep in our subconscious and are not accessible through introspection. Implicit biases develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages. 

    5. More Definitions • Stereotype: An oversimplified image or statement applied to a whole group of people, without regard to the individual • Bias: A predisposition to see events, people or items in a positive or negative way; an attitude or belief • Silent Collusion: To go along with, through silence • Ally: Someone who speaks up on behalf of someone else

    6. Why does this matter? • Demographics are changing • Increased contact with people with different backgrounds • Health care and other disparities are linked to differences • Drives excellence and innovation • It Impacts the bottom line

    7. Layers Make Us Who We Are Organizational Functional Level/Classification External GeographicalLocation Layers Layers Management Status Income Work Content/ Field Marital Status Internal PersonalHabits Age Gender Parental Status Personality Sexual Orientation Ethnicity Appearance RecreationalHabits Race Physical Ability Work Location Language Division/ Depart/ Unit/ Group Religion Work Experience CULTURE EducationalBackground Seniority Adapted from M. Williams, Ten Lenses

    8. Holocaust Civil Rights March Legacies Are Historical Events That Impact How We See Things Legaciesare the historical events and situations that are important to us as members of different groups 9-11

    9. What does bias look like? Can you describe a time when you were exposed to stereotypes or biases? • While growing up as a child • In the media (TV, movies, music, etc.) • As a recipient or target of a stereotype?

    10. Our Lenses, Layers and LegaciesAre Often the Source of Our Unconscious Biases Examples of Unconscious Bias That Other Participants Have Shared People who: • are from youngest/oldest generation • do not come to work in a shirt and tie • do come to work in a shirt and tie • are not fit or overweight • have tattoos/body art • wear a head covering/hijab • are pilots, but are women or people of color are in a wheelchair went to a non-Ivy League college went to an Ivy League college act like they are from the East Coast act like they are from the West Coast keep guessing if others are gay or lesbian are single or do not have children Other???

    11. Unconscious Bias:Video: What Would You Do? What surprised you about people’s reactions? What did not surprise you? What were some of the unconscious biases that were operating in this experiment? What would you have done if you witnessed all three of these scenarios?

    12. Biases tend to EXCLUDE rather than INCLUDE • When people are LIKE each other, they tend to LIKE each other • On the other hand…….. • When people are NOT like each other, they tend to NOT like each other

    13. What does the research say? • Bias can be conscious as well as unconscious; implicit or explicit • Biases impact in a variety of realms, ranging from classrooms, employment settings, healthcare delivery, even our families and social settings • Implicit biases are pervasive.  Everyone possesses them, even people with avowed commitments to impartiality such as judges. • The implicit associations we hold do not necessarily align with our declared beliefs or even reflect stances we would explicitly endorse.

    14. Definition: Implicit Bias Implicit Bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.  These biases can be favorable and unfavorable and are activated involuntarily, without our awareness or intentional control.  They reside deep in our subconscious and are not accessible through introspection. Implicit biases develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages. 

    15. What Creates Implicit Bias? • We’re aware of very little of what goes on in our brains • Lots of messages have been burned into the wiring • We like categories and are programmed for patterns • We like ourselves and people who remind us of us

    16. The Two You’s • Conscious self, who engages in reason, hold thought-out beliefs, controls behaviors, thinks and feels • Subconscious self, whose inner workings are unknown and unknowable to our conscious brains

    17. Your Brain On Autopilot • The body’s ballet • How did I get here? • You talkin’ to me? • Learning without knowing

    18. Independent Choice? • Think of a number between 1-10 • Add 2 • Double it • Subtract your original number • Add 8 • Subtract your original number • Divide by 3 • Find the corresponding letter of the alphabet (i.e., 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, etc.) • Think of a country that starts with that letter • Think of an animal that starts with last letter of the country • Think of a color that starts with the last letter of the animal

    19. ORANGE KANGAROO DENMARK

    20. Create a 4-word sentence from each 5-word group • should toys siblings hamster share • bold classroom has flavors food • ladder automobile the step up • he observes occasionally people watches • Scott asked lend hand a • library keeps swimming me active • question shoes replace old the • glasses soup light focus magnifying • thinking suggestion what Joan was • sounded car participation horn the

    21. Priming • should toys siblings hamster share • bold classroom has flavors food • ladder automobile the step up • he observes occasionally people watches • Scott asked lend hand a • library keeps swimming me active • question shoes replace old the • glasses soup light focus magnifying • thinking Joan suggestion what was • sounded car participation horn the

    22. Priming • Affects behavior • Can be positive or negative

    23. Visualize American

    24. Implicit Egotism • Babies & Toddlers • Jack and Jane • Tea Time • Birthday Buddies

    25. Where Does It Come From?

    26. Implicit Association Test • Reveals implicit bias • Measures reaction times and mistakes when pairing certain words/images with positive and negative words • We are more adept at the task when pairing concepts for which we already have a strong mental association

    27. Implicit Association Test • More than 80% of all people who have taken the Race IAT show pro-white associations. Even among African Americans, 50% show a strong mental association of white with good.

    28. What Is It? • Contributes significantly to person’s success • Men with this quality earn hundreds of thousands more dollars in their career than men who lack it • Exhibited by 58% of male Fortune 500 CEOs vs. 14.5% of men in the US population

    29. HEIGHT • Average US man = 5’9” • Average CEO = 6’ • One inch = $789/year in salary • 6’1” vs 5’6” = $165,750 over 30 yr career • 6’: 14.5% of US men; 58% of CEOs • 6’2”: 3.9% of US men; 33% of CEOs

    30. VOICE PITCH Lower voices manage larger companies and earn more • Decrease of 22.1 Hz = increase in company size of $440M and higher pay of $187,000/year • CEOs with deeper voices have longer tenures

    31. Discussion

    32. Damage from Implicit Bias • Deny opportunity to people unlike you or others in the dominant group • Reinforce stereotypes • Undermine one’s beliefs and values • Limit the organization • Perpetuate status quo

    33. Actions You Can Take • Be aware that you have implicit biases, like everyone. Take the IAT. • Question first reactions, Challenge your comfort zone • Create objectivity where possible • More exposure to different people and ideas • Look for patterns in who you work best with, feel most comfortable with, hire/promote, disagree with the most, struggle to work with, etc. • Contract with others for direct feedback

    34. Questions Comments Thoughts

    35. For More Information • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman • The Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji& Anthony G. Greenwald • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

    36. END