According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, implicit bias is a term of art referring to relatively unconscious and relatively automatic features of prejudiced judgement and social behavior.
I majored in nursing in college but three of my favorite courses were psychology, sociology and philosophy. I loved the discussion in the class. I enjoyed reading the textbooks. But I think most of all, I’ve always been drawn to figuring out what made people tick. Analyzing behavior. Attempting to discover why people did or said certain things. Even in a social setting, I find myself paying attention to the human psyche. But that’s a whole other blog.
I recently listened to a podcast about implicit bias. It can be positive or negative. The negative being why cops shoot black suspects, or hiring practices where men explicitly believe men and women are equally suited for careers outside the home. Yet, they might implicitly associate women with the home.
But this podcast didn’t focus on the negative. Rather, they discussed implicit bias on a more positive level in our every day life.
I found some of the examples to be not only interesting but I resonated with them. Have you ever met somebody with the same birthday as you? Or even with the same day of the month? How about when you’re in a group of people you don’t know that well and you discover someone is from your home town? Or maybe they recently read a novel that you did or saw a TV show or movie? I don’t know about you but I feel an instant connection. A kinship of sorts. It might not last or turn into a bona fide friendship but during the time I’m with that person I do feel more connected to them than others in the group. This is implicit bias. And according to studies, we do it unconsciously. It can be brief. It can be gone in a nanosecond. But for a short span of time there is a connection.
However, I feel it’s when we open ourselves to new people, new locations, new cultures, new ideas, new horizons………this is when I feel we expand our thoughts and grow.
Many people find change difficult and I’ve always found this to be sad. Because that comfortable reaction that stirs up implicit bias also limits us. It prevents us from possibly enjoying new discoveries. From seeing the outcome of a risk for the better. Or from truly reaching our full potential.
This podcast gave me even more to ponder. And I always welcome that.
See you here next time……………….