Published: Friday, July 16, 2010
Most Americans are not “racists”. Most of us don’t look for ways to discriminate against people who look different from us, and very few of us try to harm others because of the color of their skin. But that doesn’t mean that most Americans live their lives free of racial biases.
As Seattle Times columnist, Jerry Large discusses in his recent article, implicit bias – the unconscious way that we think about people of different races or genders or religious groups – is as big a problem in America today as overt racism was a few years ago. Implicit bias affects the decisions we make every day – who we hire, who we arrest, whose testimony we believe, who gets the better grade, even who we talk to on the bus. And it affects us all.
Researchers at Project Implicit have spent years studying unconscious bias in the United States and have made some of their research tools available online. Take one of their many tests to see what effect stereotypes and unconscious prejudices have on your decision-making. It is an eye-opening experience.