Archives for posts with tag: unconscious bias

Periodically, I mention on this blog the University’s HR Excellence in Research Award.

As an institution, this is our collective statement and plan of action in regards to continually enhancing the research environment, particularly in relation to research staff.

One of the actions in the institution’s HR Excellence in Research Award action plan, mirrored in the University’s Athena SWAN action plan, is that Unconscious Bias workshops are made available across the institution. Read the rest of this entry »

Unconscious bias is a type of unintentional bias that all of us ‘suffer’ from (even the most scientifically-minded and critical thinking academics!). It refers to a psychological phenomena, that we are unaware of, where our brain’s perception of other individuals plays tricks on us. Our brain as an effective processing machine, fires rapid decisions, makes short cuts on how we perceive and assess others. Howard Ross calls it the “human danger detector”. It’s not that we are either good or bad people in the way we judge others, it’s just that our brain has to process so much information that it has evolved mechanisms to make things easy in processing information. But the bug is, that it may not always help us make the right decisions.

Colored-Contact-Lens-Lao

Unconscious bias makes us look at others through our own specific lenses

Psychologists have extensively researched unconscious bias. Tests have even been developed to unearth and measure such biases. The term implicit bias is also used to describe such biases, once individuals become aware of them. The most commonly known test regarding unconscious bias is the Harward test, which measures different types of associations we make- you can test yourself with Project Implicit: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ Read the rest of this entry »