Implicit Bias Module Series Transcripts

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Implicit Bias Module Series TranscriptsTable of ContentsTraining Introduction . 2Module 1, Lesson 1: What is Implicit Bias? . 3Module 1, Lesson 2: Implicit Bias in Action . 5Module 1, Lesson 3: Origin of Bias . 7Module 2: Intro . 8Module 2, Lesson 2: Implicit Bias and School Discipline . 9Module 2, Lesson 3: Access & Evaluation. 11Module 2, Lesson 4: Implicit Bias and Structural Racism . 12Module 3: Intro . 13Module 3, Lesson 1: How Do We Measure Implicit Associations? . 13Module 3, Lesson 2: What is the IAT ? . 15Module 4: Intro . 16Module 4, Lesson 1: Our Brain are Malleable . 16Module 4, Lesson 2: Identifying Susceptibility to Unwanted Bias . 17Module 4, Lesson 3: Individual Interventions. 19Module 4, Lesson 4: Institutional-Level Interventions. 20Module 4: Closing . 20

Training IntroductionHi, my name is Kelly Capatosto, and I’m, a Sr. research associate on the race and cognition team at theKirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity. At Kirwan we are committed to the creation of a justand inclusive society where all people and communities have the opportunity to succeed. Ourcommitment to this mission is why we work so hard to understand and overcome barriers that preventaccess to opportunity in our society – such as implicit bias and the unequal distribution of public andprivate resources.Our annual publication, The State of the Science, has highlighted implicit bias as a powerful cognitivemechanism that can derail even the best of our intentions. All of these reasons, and more, are whyunderstanding what implicit bias is and how it operates is vital to creating just and inclusivecommunities.This course will introduce you to insights about how our minds operate and help you understand theorigins of implicit associations. You will also uncover some of your own biases and learn strategies foraddressing them.Each module is divided into a short series of lessons, many taking less than 10 minutes to complete.That way, even if you’re pressed for time, you can complete the lessons and modules at yourconvenience.We are delighted that you are starting this process to explore implicit bias and what its operation meansfor your decisions and actions. Thank you again for joining us.

Module 1, Lesson 1: What is Implicit Bias?This first lesson will provide the foundational understanding of how we define implicit bias, and why imatters for our pursuit of diversity, inclusion, equity and justice.During this module, when we talk about implicit bias, we are referring to the attitudes or stereotypesthat affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Let’s start to unpackthat a little bitAlthough it’s often used in a negative context, the word bias simply means an evaluation or belief. Thatmeans, it’s possible to have a bias that is favorable or unfavorable. In other words— you can have abias toward an object, person, or concept that is positive or negative. Bias, in and of itself, is a neutralterm.For example, take these three colors: I could say that I am biased toward red, or biased against blue. Ormaybe I’m neutral toward yellow. All of those statements could be true. And, most people would agreethat my preferences for red over yellow or blue don’t make me a bad person. They are simply mypreferences, and I probably did nothing to consciously control these preferences myself.So, when we say that our psychological processes are “implicit” or “unconscious,” we are simplyreferring to something operating outside of our conscious awareness. Like “bias”, the term “implicit” inand of itself isn’t a good or bad thing; in fact, as you will learn later in this training, we rely on implicitprocesses to move efficiently throughout the world.So by definition, implicit bias is nothing more than our evaluations or beliefs, whether positive ornegative, that can exist without us even realizing it. So if it’s true that our biases may be hidden to us,and they aren’t necessarily bad, why are we talking about them?Well, we’re talking about them because we now know that it is possible for us to form implicitevaluations based on inaccurate information or stereotypes of people, objects, and ideas.There’s also evidence that implicit biases can impact our decisions, perceptions, and behaviors. Thismakes it more difficult to for us to live up to our values of equity and fairnessThat means that the actions and decisions resulting from our implicit biases can create real-worldbarriers to equity and opportunity; you’ll learn more about what the research says about the effects ofbias later on in these modules.But these practical applications are why it’s so important to learn about implicit bias, particularly those

biases that don’t align with your intentions, or explicit beliefs.To summarize, implicit bias refers to attitudes or stereotypes we hold outside of our consciousawareness. Implicit bias does NOT refer to those beliefs we are aware of but that we conceal orsuppress in an effort to appear non-biasedThe word attitude describes your evaluation of some concept like a person, place, thing, or idea. Forinstance, in the color example from earlier, I shared that I prefer red. Attitudes can be positive ornegative. In this example, my evaluation of red is positive. Alternatively, my evaluation of blue isnegative.We use the word stereotype to refer to those beliefs that are mentally associated with a given category.For example, people often stereotype Asians as being good at math and men are associated with beingin the workplace more often than women are. Even if we don’t endorse these stereotypes they canunintentionally influences our mental processes.At this point, you might be asking yourself, “why is the topic of implicit bias worth our considerationwhen there are so many other issues that can impact our pursuit of equity and fairness?”Implicit bias is just another tool we possess to understand how our conscious commitments to fairnessand equity can be disrupted –even when people have the best intentions.More importantly, considering Implicit bias doesn’t take away from the importance of addressingexplicit or direct instances of discrimination. In fact, the effects of implicit, explicit, and institutional biasare informed by and contribute to each other.Although the main focus of these modules will be on implicit bias, we will also incorporate informationand resources related to institutional and overt forms of bias.In the next modules, we will dive deeper into how implicit bias can show up in our daily life, and how wecan work to counter it. Thank you for joining us.

Module 1, Lesson 2: Implicit Bias in ActionHello everyone. I’m Joshua Bates and I am a social policy analyst at the Kirwan Institute.In the previous lesson, we defined implicit bias as those attitudes and stereotypes that affect ourunderstanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. But what does it mean to havethoughts and associations that you’re unaware of? What does that look and feel like? And why does iteven matter? Let’s try bringing implicit bias to life by doing some quick exercises. As you’ll soon see,these exercises are very simple. The purpose is not whether or not you can complete them, but whatthey show us about how our brains work.Let’s start by playing a game of word association: Think or say aloud the word that should go in theblank: [visual: young , night , black ]Obviously there was nothing difficult about that exercise. Not only was it easy to fill in the blanks, youlikely had a response ready long before you were prompted to fill it in. This is the power of our implicitcognition and our lightning fast associations! When faced with incomplete information we rely onassociative memory to quickly fill in the gapsIt’s also important to know that most people have the same response. It is possible to have similarassociations shared across various groups of people—we usually refer to these as “norms” or“stereotypes”.For the next activity, please read the following paragraph out loud:“If you can raed tihs praapragh, it’s bcsecuae our mnids are vrey good at ptuting tgoehter peiecs ofifnroamtoin in a way taht is esay for us to make snese of.Our mnids do tihs atoumtaicllay, whituot ourcosncoius cotnrol.”This was a horribly misspelled paragraph, yet you were able to read it without much difficulty at all!Even, if it took you a little longer to read, your unconscious cognition automatically made sense of theparagraph based on your ability to associate it with words you already know.[See ABC/12, 13, 14 visual]Most of us see ABC.Similarly, here we see 12, 13, and 14.Even though the middle figure in those images never changed, our brains are able to form differentperceptions of the same image based only on the context surrounding. And this is done without our

intention or control.What these three exercises demonstrate is the automatic, adaptive, and associative nature of ourimplicit processing. When faced with otherwise ambiguous or confusing content, our brains try toquickly make sense of it by relying on associations we’ve stored in our memory. Importantly, thesestored associations don’t have to be based on accurate and logical information. By just seeing conceptsgrouped together repeatedly, we can internalize associations that are skewed, distorted, and inaccurate.Now, let’s go through one final exercise that really speaks to the question of why implicit bias matters.[See visual]On the screen you will see a column of words. When prompted, please say aloud the COLOR of eachword, not what the word says. Try not to read the words, just say what color it is. Ready? Here we goGreat! Let’s try it again with a similar set of words. Remember, just say the color of the word, don’t readthe word.Ready? Go.This assessment – known as the Stroop Task – is a psychological task that looks at the dynamics of ourautomaticFor most folks, the first screen was simple. The color and the word themselves matched. Therefore theresults of your implicit inclination to read the words aligned with your explicit directions to say the color.On the other hand, your automatic inclination to read the words the second time may have taken a littlebit longer. As this demonstrates, our implicit and explicit goals can, and often do, diverge.THIS is why implicit bias matters. While we’d like to think of ourselves as rational and logical adults, thereality is a lot of our thought processes are occurring unconsciously, without our intention and control.Those implicit processes – when activated – can derail even our most sincere explicit intentions.There are limits to the amount of information you can conscious process at any given time. In fact,research shows that, on average, we can only consciously process between 5 and 9 stimuli at a time. Sothat phone number you misremembered was at the limit of your capacity to process informationconsciously.We rely on our implicit cognition to move through the world. Given this, uncovering your biases andunderstanding their effects on your life and others is critical to ensuring that intentions and outcomesalign.

In the next lesson, we’re going to dive more deeply into the origins of our biases, how they form, andwhere they come from.Module 1, Lesson 3: Origin of BiasHi, I’m Lena Tenney, coordinator of public engagement at the Kirwan Institute.So far, we have talked a lot about what implicit bias is, and how it operates. Now we will share someinformation about the origins of our biases. To do so, we will discuss a different perspectives on how weinternalize the messages in our environment as implicit associations or biases.Our brain’s ability to make connection between two concepts is known as associative learning. The bestexample of how our minds do this is through the process of classical conditioning. Most of you may haveseen or heard about the original classical conditioning study conducted with the scientist Pavlov and hisdogs.Every time Pavlov gave his dogs food, they began to salivate—this was their automatic response. Thenhe rang a bell every time he presented the food to the animals. Over time, after seeing these two stimulipaired together repeatedly, the dogs eventually exhibited the physiological response of salivating whena bell was rung even when there was no food around--- the association was formed. Even though thisclassic study uses the examples of animal behavior, we all do the same thing when our brains try toperceive and categorize people. So in the same way that the dogs associated the bell with food, weassociate characteristics such as leadership or criminality with aspects of people’s identity like race orgender.For example, because CEOs of large companies have historically been older, white, men this may be thefirst image that comes into our mind when we think of someone in this role.One of the most interesting things about this style of l