Implicitly Inhibiting the Impact of Implicit Bias

Inhibiting the Impact of
Implicit Bias
March 2013
Julia McQuillan, Patricia Hill, Mary Anne Holmes
What is implicit bias?
Automatic Associations (Scientist = Male)
Who has implicit biases?
Even the most wellintentioned person
unwillingly allows
unconscious thoughts &
feelings to influence
apparently objective
~ M. Banaji
Benefits: Diversity creates more
innovation (Scott Page 2007)
Challenge: automatic ingroup preferences, more
work to communicate,
tokenism if < 30%, need a
common goal
Gender Inequality Persists because of
cognitive gender “Frames”
How can I learn more – in an
enjoyable way?
Can’t professors judge ‘excellence’
without gender frames interfering?
Lamont observed
academic review panels
- Quality is the goal
- Many biases (e.g.
disciplines, institutional
How can we limit the impact of
Implicit Bias?
• Accountability
• Formal Systems –
• Heterogeneous
• Inter-Group
• Create new
What is the ADVANCE-Nebraska
team doing about Implicit Attitudes?
• Faculty Committee
• – raise awareness
– Best practices
– Presentations
• New Images/Associations
– Speakers
– Paths to Success
– Showcase visits
– Conversations
• Data – available/here
• Rubrics
Is awareness necessary?
Potential Benefits:
Action to limit damage
Creativity in limiting impact
Openness to data
Realization that everyone
needs help minimizing the
impact of implicit bias
• Willingness to slow down
• Acceptance of rubrics
Is awareness Unnecessary?
Can we implicitly inhibit implicit bias?
* Enhance clarity/reduce ambiguity
– Create Rubrics for hiring, T&P, evaluation
– Data for review organized for comparison
– Data patterns – relative to pools – consequences of
– Ask for accounts of decisions
*Adequate time for careful review
– Reward review work/provide time
– Equity advocates/procedure focus
*Create new implicit Associations
– Images that disrupt implicit associations (e.g. more images
of women in STEM)
– Extra efforts/constantly searching
– Showcase visits (new association
Thank you!
[email protected]
©2007 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
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