What Teachers Should Know About Implicit Bias Right Now

Calvin Lai, assistant professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

 

Amid protests across the country demanding justice for Black Americans, many are calling for increased attention to implicit race bias among police officers as a remedy for police brutality.

What is implicit bias? It’s an automatic reaction someone has toward other people. Implicit race bias, specifically, reflects prejudices and stereotypes that stem from a long history of racism and segregation in the United States but operate without deliberation.

The idea that a person can hold prejudices they 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 children’s health, educational attainment, and school discipline.

As psychological scientists studying implicit bias, we’d like to highlight three underappreciated facts about implicit race bias that you should know.

Read the full piece in Education Week.

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