Discuss How Personal Implicit Biases Can Form Understandings at a Local, National or Global Level
In many cases, people can hold positive or negative associations with regards to their own race, gender, religion, sexuality, or another personal characteristic. While people might like to believe that they are not susceptible to these biases and stereotypes, the reality is that everyone engages in them whether they like it or not.
As such, System 1 is responsible for the associations known as implicit biases. Because the implicit associations we hold arise outside of conscious awareness, implicit biases do not necessarily align with our explicit beliefs and stated intentions. This means that even individuals who profess egalitarian intentions and try to treat all individuals fairly can still unknowingly act in ways that reflect their implicit—rather than their explicit—biases. Thus, even well-intentioned individuals can act in ways that produce inequitable outcomes for different groups.
Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness. Rather, implicit biases are not accessible through introspection. The implicit associations we harbor in our subconscious cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance. These associations develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages. In addition to early life experiences, the media and news programming are often-cited origins of implicit associations.
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