Unconscious bias—also known as implicit "social cognition"—refers to thoughts and feelings that are outside of conscious awareness and control. While we would all like to believe we are objective in making judgments and decisions, we are not always aware of our unconscious biases. Since unconscious biases could, for instance, influence how we review applications and assess candidates for faculty positions, the following resources are provided to assist in understanding what unconscious bias is and how it can affect decision making. There is also a link to an online Implicit Association Test where you can take to assess your own unconscious biases.
Implicit bias test
Project Implicit is a non-profit organization founded by researchers from the University of Washington, Harvard University and the University of Virginia. Its goal is to educate the public about hidden biases and to function as a virtual laboratory for collecting data on unconscious bias. The link takes you to a page where you can take online implicit association tests (IATs) relating to different types of unconscious bias, including skin-tone preference, sexuality preference, the link between gender and science, age preference, the link between gender and family versus career, racial preference, weight preference, disability preference and others. For an analysis of issues relating to IAT procedures and application, see Nosek et al (2005).
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Ziegert, J. and Hanges, P. (2005). "Employment Discrimination: The Role of Implicit Attitudes, Motivation, and a Climate for Racial Bias." Journal of Applied Psychology, 90 (3), 553-562.
Segrest, S. et. al. (2006). "Implicit Sources of Bias in Employment Interview Judgments and Decisions." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 101 (2), 152-167.
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Kawakami, K.; Dovidio, J.; and van Kamp, S. (2005). "Kicking the Habit: Effects of Nonstereotypic Association Training and Correction Processes on Hiring Decisions." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41 (1), 68-75.
Abrams, D.; Swift, H.; and Drury, L. (2016). "Old and Unemployable? How Age-Based Stereotypes Affect Willingness to Hire Job Candidates." Journal of Social Issues, 72 (1), p. 105-121.
Yoder, J. and Matheis, A. (2016). "Queer in STEM: Workplace Experiences Reported in a National Survey of LGBTQA Individuals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers." Journal of Homosexuality, 63 (1), 1-27.
Perna, L (2001). "Sex and Race Differences in Faculty Tenure and Promotion." Research in Higher Education, 42 (5), 541-567.
Perna, L .(2005). "Sex Differences in Faculty Tenure and Promotion: The Contribution of Family Ties." Research in Higher Education, 46 (3), 277-307.
Bertrand, M. and Mullainatan, S. (2004). "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination." American Economic Review, 94 (4), 991-1013.
Devine, P. et. al. (2002). "The Regulation of Explicit and Implicit Race Bias: The Role of Motivations to Respond Without Prejudice." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82 (5), 835-848.