Unconscious Bias

Zielgruppe: PhDs, PostDocs and young researchers in DFG-funded projects

The world around us is becoming increasingly complex. We are exposed to an unsurmountable number of information on a daily basis. In order to remain capable to perform on a day to day basis our brain has to select and interpret the most important information. In order to do so and to reduce the complexity of the world around us we make use of categories, stereotypes and memories. This way of processing complex information is extremely efficient. Nevertheless, it can build on unconscious bias that can have problematic effects.

Everyone holds unconscious biases. They have a significant impact on how we work with others and may exist toward any social group. Also, they can result in discrimination. In the workplace, unconscious gender and racial biases, for example, can lead to unintentional discrimination against BIPoC and women. This can have a variety of expressions: We underestimate or overestimate people's competence, prefer people who are similar to us. Talents are overlooked, people are promoted who are not necessarily best suited for the position, and needs are misjudged - because of a person’s race and/or gender.
Describing how unconscious bias works and how it influences our thinking and actions is an important step in addressing discrimination. When scientists and teachers are sensitized to unconscious bias, it strengthens their decision-making, leadership skills, and anti-discriminatory practice. They learn to better reflect on themselves so that decisions can be made in a more unbiased and performance-based manner.

Inhalte im Überblick:

  • Why we all have biases and how our brains trick us into them
  • How does unconscious bias/unconscious prejudice arise?
  • Understand the relevance of biases for discrimination
  • Reflecting on our own unconscious biases, how to identify them in our daily practices
  • Building awareness

Methoden: Theoretical input, exercises, work in small groups, discussion, reflection exercises

Trainerin: Dr.in Jule Bönkost, trainer, consultant and author with many years of experience in the field of anti-discrimination education, www.diskriminierungskritische-bildung.de

Diese Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt. // This course will be held in English.