A new study from Ohio State University details implicit bias.
- New research from Ohio State claims we cannot separate how someone looks and sounds.
- Volunteers were asked to look at photos and listen to audio, and were told to ignore their face or voice.
- "They were unable to entirely eliminate the irrelevant information," said associate professor Kathryn Campbell-Kibler.
8 powerful speakers that might make you think differently about racism | Big Think<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="310eb2418d44ed9aed7fb66364904aaa"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ox04P7Gy2eY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>In some cases, volunteers were told to evaluate how "good-looking" the people in the photos were; in others, they were asked to judge their accents. One cohort was not given guidance; they looked at a photo and listened to a voice. Others were told to ignore the face while listening, and vice-versa. Some were even told that the voice was not from the same person they were looking at. </p><p>It didn't matter. In most cases, volunteers expressed critical judgment of either their face or voice. As Campbell-Kibler <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200722083758.htm" target="_blank">says</a>, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Even though we told them to ignore the voice, they couldn't do it completely. Some of the information from the voice seeped into their evaluation of the face."</p><p>Detaching face from voice is a difficult endeavor. The first time I heard Welsh actor Matthew Rhys' <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu77rb0mww4" target="_blank">true accent</a> was while watching "The Wine Show," which he filmed shortly after wrapping up work on "The Americans." It took me a few minutes to rationalize what I was seeing. Now I can't get his actual speaking voice out of my head while watching the drunken private investigator transform into the lawyer we knew Perry Mason would become.</p>
Jonathan Gartrelle (L), participating in a protest against police brutality, confronts a demonstrator taking part in a counter demonstration advertised as a Law and Order Rally that was also supporting President Donald Trump on June 14, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images<p>Rhys is paid to speak English with an American accent. The stakes are low for me as a viewer. Out in the real world, where racism is as prevalent as ever, the situation is different. Implicit bias affects everyone, which means racism and xenophobia are conditions we have to work at correcting in ourselves. It won't come natural. Campbell-Kibler continues,</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We found that people could exercise some control over what information to favor, the voice or the face, depending on what we told them to do. But in most cases, they were unable to entirely eliminate the irrelevant information."</p><p>She notes that even though most participants were white, they were careful to not racially stereotype. Volunteers told to ignore faces while listening to accents performed best for this reason, though some admitted they had to make a conscious effort to do so. </p><p>Volunteers took no issue with judging the photos good-looking, believing looks to be subjective. Campbell-Kibler wants to follow up this research using videos instead of photographs to observe the impact of watching others on the screen. </p><p>The takeaway: we are influenced by all of the information available to us at all times. Our biases will make themselves apparent. Course-correcting is not natural, but thankfully, it is possible. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Do you know the implicit biases you have? Here are some ways to find them out.
- A study finds that even becoming aware of your own implicit bias can help you overcome it.
- We all have biases. Some of them are helpful — others not so much.
How we can curb the effects of implicit biases<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTA3MDgyNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTczNzk1MH0.WrHhXZnq_IEuhwWCqj542Yj_Ny9OyS69eeSgtIbKCtE/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C130%2C0%2C130&height=700" id="c8c5b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="37cbee2b5fecb9415542a2f9b256aa21" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Radachynskyi Serhii / Shutterstock / Big Think<p>New research, <a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=66960X1516588&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nature.com%2Farticles%2Fs41562-019-0686-3" target="_blank">published</a> in <em>Nature Human Behavior </em>on August 26, suggests the gender bias, which continues to prevent women from advancing in science, has a lot to do with its hidden underbelly — human blindspots. During the study, French researchers discovered that more women were promoted after the scientists in charge of awarding research positions became consciously aware of the impact of their implicit bias. </p><p>When it was no longer being highlighted, their biases discriminatory effect re-asserted itself, with award grants regressing to their traditional, pro-male pattern. Other research suggests that diversity training <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2016/07/01/to-improve-diversity-dont-make-people-go-to-diversity-training-really-2/" target="_blank">doesn't really help</a> and may even exacerbate the problem it seeks to address. </p><p>We can glean a new approach, though — one that could result in better outcomes — from the new research.</p>
About the study<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTA3MDQ3Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzAyOTM3NX0.g6-J9vIM86-oD9uvA6hI7fWstSf4T6l-x1Or7vYoNC4/img.jpg?width=980" id="90426" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7e0f4d9453c682b9d09aa0cab90e1e34" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Tartila/Shutterstock/Big Think
How do I know if implicit bias is affecting my judgement?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTA3MDg0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjEwNTk4Nn0.gNTCpjO6Y2-wVfA3TzKHT1k75RJbGrvF6Wkl6VZLaOA/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=237%2C51%2C237%2C51&height=700" id="1e62b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8a541cecc5949ab591f2fe9e50bdabfc" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: AlexandreNunes / Shutterstock / Big Think<p>While the study looked at gender bias, of course, it's not the only variety to be concerned about, others pervade our culture: race bias, ethnicity bias, anti-LGBTQ bias, age bias, anti-Muslim bias, and so on. There are a couple of online methods available for sussing out our own. Note that if the researchers are correct, then just making yourself aware of your implicit biases can help you combat them.</p><p>The IAT mentioned above is one widely used way to identify your own bias issues. <a href="https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/index.jsp" target="_blank">Project Implicit</a> — from psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington — offers a <a href="https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html" target="_blank">self-test</a> you can take. Be aware, though, that the IAT requires multiple tests to produce <a href="https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/the-iat-how-and-when-it-works" target="_blank">a meaningful result</a>.</p><p>If you're willing to invest a little time, there's also the <a href="http://www.lookdifferent.org/what-can-i-do/bias-cleanse" target="_blank">"bias cleanse"</a> offered by MTV in partnership with the <a href="http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/" target="_blank">Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity</a>. It's a seven-day program aimed at helping you sort out implicit gender, race, or anti-LGBTQ biases you may be harboring. Each day you receive three eye-opening email thought exercises, one for each type of bias. </p><p>Side note: Did you know that more people die in female-named hurricanes because they're typically perceived as less threatening? We didn't.</p>
Step 1<p>It's a well-worn bromide that simply acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to solving it, but the new study provides supporting evidence that this is especially true when dealing with implicit biases — a pernicious, stubborn problem in our society. Our brains are clever beasties, silently putting together shortcuts that reduce our cognitive load. We just need to be smarter about seeing and consciously assessing them if we can ever hope to be the people that we hope to be. That may mean, on occasion, being humble enough to receive feedback in the form of callouts. </p>
What would it be like to live in the body of someone else? With VR, now you can actually find out.
What would it be like to live in the body of someone else? Since the dawn of mankind, people have imagined what it would be like to inhabit another body, just for a day or even for a few minutes. Thanks to the magic of VR, we can now do that. Jeremy Bailenson, the creator of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has designed a VR experience called 1000 Cut Journey that may change the way people see race: by experiencing it firsthand. Jeremy explains to us, "You start out as an elementary school child and you’re in a classroom. You then become a teenager and you’re interacting with police officers. You then become an adult who’s going on a job interview, and what you experience while wearing the body of a black male is implicit bias that happens repeatedly and over time." Jeremy is brought to you today by Amway. Amway believes that diversity and inclusion are essential to the growth and prosperity of today’s companies. When woven into every aspect of the talent life cycle, companies committed to diversity and inclusion are the best equipped to innovate, and improve brand image and drive performance.
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