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Books and Beyond

At this new book club we will discuss books on topics related to our times and examine how possibly we can make a difference.

5 Promising Practices for Reducing Implicit Bias (IB)


This strategy relies on preventing stereotypic conclusions by obtaining specific information about group members (Brewer, 1988; Fiske & Neuberg, 1990). Using this strategy helps people evaluate members of the target group based on personal, rather than group-based, attributes

  • Group: race, occupation, hometown
  • Personal: interests, hobbies, favorite movie/color/book/musicians, clothing, style, tech preferences, apps, etc.
Perspective Taking

This strategy involves taking the perspective in the first person of a member of a group toward whom bias exists.

  • Requires one to put themselves in another person's situation and imagine what they would think, do, and feel.
  • This increases psychological closeness to the stigmatized group, which enhances automatic group-based evaluations (Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000).
  • Usually requires communication, understanding, and some level of empathy.
Counter-stereotypic Imaging

Imagine in detail targets of bias in a positive light (Blair et al., 2001).

These others can be abstract (e.g. Muslim family eating dinner), famous (e.g. Muhammad Ali), or non-famous (e.g. a personal friend).

Stereotype Replacement

Replace stereotypical responses with non-stereotypical responses.

Involves recognizing that a response is based on stereotypes (e.g. math teacher asking Asian students to join the math club on the first day of class); labeling the response as stereotypical, and reflecting on why the response occurred.

Next, one considers how the biased response could be avoided in the future and replaced it with an unbiased response (e.g. teacher selecting math club students based upon exam scores) (Monteith, 1993).

Increasing Opportunities for Contact

Positive contact can alter perceptions of the group or directly improve evaluations of the group (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006).

  • Seek opportunities to encounter and engage in positive interations with out-group members
  • Interact with and/or develop genuine relationships with several out-group members; learn their history and culture
  • Increased exposure to associations of outgroups and positive traits/achievements

Another way to identify IB

  • Think about someone in your life who knows you really well
  • Give them a "pass" to give you honest feedback about the biases they think you have
  • And then listen without becoming defensive
  • Sometimes, other people can see your biases before you do.