Implicit Bias

Implicit Attitude Test

During the implicit attitude test I had to answer questions about how I identify or associate myself. Then it asked questions about what I identify as male or female. In the end of the test, it turns out that I identify as a female more than a male. This test showed that I have a belief system for how each of the sexes are different. I know that I also have deep seated beliefs or generalizations my brain subconsciously makes about groups of people. This is what I would consider a bias.

What is Implicit Bias?

“Our brains naturally recognize patterns and make generalizations based off of these patterns. This process of stereotyping thoughts is called implicit bias, leading to discrimination even when people feel they are being fair.” (Kirwan Institute). Much of implicit biases are held against minorities, affecting their chances of being hired.

Implicit Bias and Selection Process

Due to the fact that this implicit bias may be happening at an unconscious level, this can negatively impact the reliability and validity of a selection process. If an interviewer has some sort of implicit bias against the person they are interviewing, this person may not be selected even though they are qualified for the position. According to the Kirwan Institute, these implicit biases are a learned behavior. That is good news, because that also means the thought pattern can be unlearned. I think that companies should take the responsibility to have trainings for their employees on implicit bias. I think HR and hiring managers should also have specific training on implicit bias, as well as coaching to help reshape the biases that each individual has. With the implementation of training as well as coaching to correct these biases, the selection process can be shaped into something a bit more valid and reliable. This could also help further diversify the workplace.

Citations:

The Kirwan Institute. “Understanding Implicit Bias.” Understanding Implicit Bias | Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, https://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/article/understanding-implicit-bias.

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