What is implicit bias?
The Case of the Missing $1000 Egg: A Tale of Schemas and Implicit Bias
Finding the egg would have won me a $1000 prize. Not finding the egg won me an egg once worth $1000, and a good anecdote for explaining schemas and implicit bias.
Transcript of audio provided below. Closed captioning coming soon.
Let’s examine a couple of key definitions:
One year, I was exhibiting at a conference, trying to also attend as many sessions as possible, and attempting to make the most of networking opportunities. Needless to say, I felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
What are the other costs of implicit bias?
- A schema describes a pattern of thought or behavior that organizes categories of information and the relationships among them. In our brain, schemas are templates of knowledge, or mental shortcuts, that are unconsciously accessed and applied, sometimes mistakenly. The resulting assignment of schemas, is implicit bias.
- Implicit, or unconscious bias, refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
So, what can we do?
- Increase awareness of your unconscious biases. Take a few Implicit Association Tests to get started.
- Expand your schemas. Find more stories and images that challenge stereotypes.
- Be intentional. As the unconscious becomes more conscious, you’ll begin to recognize how your biases manifest in your interactions. From there, you can take action and adjust. Remember this is a journey!
- And Finally: Speak Up. Challenge stereotypes, and kindly support others in expanding their schemas, too.