We may have the best intentions, but our minds may still play tricks on us. This can complicate situations in ways that we’re not even aware, and produce negative outcomes. Want to avoid unintentional bias? Learn how to “wake up” from it.
Becoming aware of unintentional bias is essential to great leadership. In no case is this greater than in the issue of diversity. Big Think has written about how diversity strengthens organizations, even leading to better decision-making. It’s in the best interest of leaders to build diverse organizations. Unfortunately, in the quest for diversity, too many leaders are unaware of how unintentional bias is getting in their way and actually undermining the people they’re seeking to help.
“Discrimination and bias and inequities is one of the most important topics of the day today. One of the reasons why is that many, many companies are becoming increasingly diverse. Companies value diversity. They think it's really important,” says Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, the Director of the Laboratory of Intergroup Relations and the Social Mind at Columbia University. “And yet the way our brain works we still engage in many different kinds of biases and they happen outside of our awareness.”
For more on Purdie-Vaughns’s insights into unintentional bias, including the disturbing differences commonly found in letters of recommendation written for men versus those written for women, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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