Implicit bias is a difficult topic to talk about. After all, it’s one thing to recognise cognitive biases such as survivorship bias or availability bias, where the flaw in thinking is largely a statistical error, and another to accept that our biases genuinely affect the way we treat other human beings.
Knowable Magazine discusses the problem of implicit bias with social psychologist Anthony Greenwald. It’s a fascinating insight into one of the more unfortunate aspects of our minds:
A quarter-century ago, social psychologist Anthony Greenwald of the University of Washington developed a test that exposed an uncomfortable aspect of the human mind: People have deep-seated biases of which they are completely unaware. And these hidden attitudes — known as implicit bias — influence the way we act toward each other, often with unintended discriminatory consequences.