When facing with many choices, our brains will unconsciously favor a certain one. It’s called unconscious bias. But you have to make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of your thoughts so that you can lose control.
What is the meaning of unconscious bias?
A person says that he is not a racist guy but still stays away from blacks. Or you ensure that you are an equal employer but you still pay attention to gender when making a hiring decision. In general, everyone has unconscious biases. So what is this?
Unconscious biases, known as tacit biases, are the underlying attitudes and stereotypes that people unconsciously assign to a person or group of people. It influences how they understand and relate to a person or group.
For example, women are great kindergarten teachers, but superficially lousy as principals. 76 percent of teachers are female, but only 52 percent of principals. Is this due to choice or unconscious bias of decision-makers? This not only applies to gender but also many other issues. What do you think when you see a guy with a handgun? You definitely think he’s a bad guy or a criminal. This thought comes from your unconscious bias about the bad things.
Why our mind has unconscious biases?
Your mind is conscious and makes decisions based on experience. For example, you have interacted with an engineer in-home design before. So your brain unconsciously realizes the real difference between engineers and marketers. Therefore, you prioritize providing essential information to engineers, not marketers.
Our mind often consciously receives information. However, the information is subconsciously repeated in our subconscious, which leads to unconscious bias. These biases can come from subjective or objective causes:
- Subjective: the person has a purpose with biases such as racism, sexism, etc.
- Objective: external influences from society, childhood, opinions of others, etc.
Some ways to fix unconscious bias
1. Unconscious bias test
You can take unconscious bias tests, but they won’t completely fix the problem. They just let you know that the problem exists. And the test won’t address any issue that isn’t along with gender, racial, or cultural lines. However, if you want to deal with unconscious biases, you have to define what they are and how they affect your life.
You can take these unconscious bias tests at prestigious seminars, or you can find help from well-known and professional experts.
2. Write down the reasons for your decision
Your brain considers events that happened in the past and makes quick judgments for you without having to think about them. That is why bias is unconscious. It takes focus and effort to not allow your unconscious mind to be attracted to bias.
Because your brain is conscious and makes decisions based on experience, you might think this is fine. However, you have to make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of thinking – “Because a lot of people in group A like this, everyone in group A likes this.” That’s where your unconscious biases get you in trouble. So, you can write down the reasons for your decision to decide based on my personal opinion.
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