Monday, October 20, 2008

Implicit Bias

Friends:

We are just about on the eve of an historic election--one that is historic not just because of race but also because of many interesting issues and challenges. Much is being written in the popular press and discussed on television about implicit bias. All people have biases, and with a bit of self awareness most people are aware when these biases are at work to help us predict how our companions on this planet will react to what we say or do. It isn't a bad thing to acknowledge that we have biases. Lack of the awareness that I have a bias is more likely to harm people around me, than is awareness and acknowledgement that bias exists.

A leadership consultant friend of mine directed me to Project Implicit, at Harvard. Try the implicit bias tests at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ and see whether the outcome is what you would predict. I was not surprised to learn that I have a slight automatic association of "Male" with "career" and "Female" with "Family".

Try it and let us know whether you are surprised with the results, or not.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Cynthia

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