Extra Credit Blog Assignment

I did the implicit bias experiment about attractiveness. It was testing to see whether I picked more attractive candidates over less attractive ones, even if their internship applications were weaker than or equal to the less attractive applicants’ applications.

I think that implicit bias could heavily impact the validity of an interview. Even if the interviewer is asking all the right questions and the candidate is personable and gives good answers, the interview could fail to assess what it needs to because of the interviewers’ pre-existing notions or first impressions of the candidate. They could disregard certain answers, or even brush past a certain candidate altogether just based on, in this case, their looks.

I think attractiveness is an especially dangerous one because it’s not something that many people think of as a bias at all. Even people who are very aware of their own biases may not think that they are negatively stereotyping people based on the way they look. It’s ingrained in us by the media from an early age that conventionally attractive people have more value to society, so it’s hard for us to question that. Interviewer training programs are designed to combat biases against different races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, ability levels, etc, but there are not many programs specifically focused on attractiveness. Attractiveness is also not a protected class, so people are being discriminated against for something they can’t control, and they can’t do anything about the discrimination either.

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