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Implicit Bias

Psychologists Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald first coined the phrase 'implicit bias' in 1995 in their article Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes, where they argued that "social behaviour often operates in an implicit or unconscious fashion. The identifying feature of implicit cognition is that past experience influences judgment in a fashion not introspectively known by the actor."  Moreover, they noted that "implicit stereotyping is consistent with recent findings of discrimination by people who explicitly disavow prejudice."  In other words, people who do not consider themselves biased behave in a biased and discriminatory manner unintentionally and unbeknownst to themselves.

"Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. These attitudes and stereotypes can negatively impact our understanding, actions, and decision-making. The idea that we can hold prejudices we don’t want or believe was quite radical when it was first introduced, and the fact that people may discriminate unintentionally continues to have implications for understanding disparities in so many aspects of society, including but not limited to health care, policing, and education, as well as organizational practices like hiring and promotion."

In this section, you will find some videos explaining the concept of 'implicit bias', also known as 'unconscious bias', as well as a link to a group of tests and training that you can do to explore your implicit biases.  So, check out some of the videos, do one of the tests or take part in the in-house training to see what you can to do address yours.



Information Videos

Test Yourself

There are different implicit or unconscious bias test available online.  Here's one of them: 

Project Implicit

"The mission of Project Implicit is to educate the public about bias and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the internet. Project Implicit scientists produce high-impact research that forms the basis of our scientific knowledge about bias and disparities."


Unconscious Bias training is being developed by the EDI Unit - keep an eye on your email for notifications of training.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

Comhionannas, Éagsúlacht agus Ionchuimsitheacht

South Lodge, College Road, University College, Cork, T12 RXA9