Implicit Bias Training Reduces Prejudices Through Mindfulness

Unconscious attitudes can hamstring people’s efforts to treat people equally. Known specifically as implicit biases, these forces maintain people’s prejudices and stereotypical views even if they want to improve their interactions with others and achieve fair decisions free of discrimination. To counteract the influence of hidden thoughts, organizations pursue implicit bias training to teach people to recognize their unconscious tendencies.

Operating within subconscious processes, these biases inspire discrimination toward some groups and favoritism toward others. Researchers have determined that everyone has implicit biases. Even people who strive to act in an impartial manner still reveal biases in their . These implicit biases can sometimes be in conflict with the beliefs that people state openly.

The biased associations that our unconscious minds apply to various groups develop throughout out lives. Biases begin to form during childhood as parents, teachers, and society as a whole project prejudices directly and indirectly. News programs and other media broadcast many stereotypes. Such a social landscape makes biases feel so normal that they do not warrant examination.

Fortunately, the highly plastic nature of our brains opens up the possibility of change. Debiasing techniques presented through implicit bias training can allow people to expose the hidden mental forces acting on them. By bringing awareness to deep attitudes that could be sabotaging decisions that impact people negatively, people achieve greater mindfulness and the ability to act with fairness.

Training programs enable people to discover and explore their hidden attitudes in a safe place. Ultimately, people gain the mental tools to detect their default mental prejudices and learn to engage with people of different backgrounds in an open minded and trusting manner. The experiences embedded in the implicit bias training conducted by Pope Consulting engage people with memorable lessons that have the potential to produce lasting changes.