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Unconscious Bias

Whether on race, gender or age, we make judgments about people, without even realising. Mike Williams explores what's happening in our brains and how to combat it.

Are you sexist, racist or ageist? Even if you think you are open-minded, the chances are, you will be judging people and situations without even realising. These hidden biases – which are different from conscious prejudice – lurk within our minds.

Science clearly shows that almost all of us have at least one of these tendencies - an implicit preference for one race over another, for men over women, for young over old or vice versa. Our unconscious biases are influenced by our background, our personal experiences and the culture in which we live. And, they can affect the way we behave, the decisions we make - whether it is who we hire, who we promote or even – in the case of jurors – who we believe is guilty or not guilty.

Mike Williams learns about an online assessment test that measures unconscious bias, explores the extent to which we can we limit these hidden biases, once we are aware of them. And, hears how one orchestra, in particular, has a solution to the problem – by asking prospective players to remove their shoes.

Contributors: Mahzarin Banaji, Professor of Psychology, Havard University;
Dr Pete Jones, Psychologist; Nick Logie, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment;
Yassmin Abdel-Magied, mechanical engineer and founder, Mumtaza speakers bureau;
Kayo Anosike, Music Director/Kayla Benjamin, Training Consultant;
Margenett Moore-Roberts, Yahoo’s Global Head, Inclusive Diversity;
Patrick Brayer, criminal defence attorney, St Louis, Missouri.

(Photo: Man holding a baby whilst ironing and woman fixing car. Credit: Volkovslava & Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

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18 minutes

Last on

Mon 7 Nov 2016 07:32GMT


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