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Me, biased?

We would all like to think that we aren’t biased, however, 98% of our daily thinking is done subconsciously- and that’s where we collect and store our unconscious bias or our blind spots.

Everybody’s biased. The truth is, we all harbor unconscious assumptions that can get in the way of our good intentions and keep us from building authentic relationships with people different from ourselves.

Few people would admit to treating others poorly because they are different. This is why bias blind spots are particularly dangerous when first meeting people.

Challenging other people’s bias blind spots can be difficult but identifying and accounting for your own bias blind spots is even harder.

By becoming more self-aware, we can control knee-jerk reactions, conquer fears of the unknown, and prevail over closed-mindedness. It is important to remember, you are not the problem, it is human nature to develop blind spots and unconscious bias — but you can be the solution.

It isn’t always easy to identify your own unconscious biases. A good place to start is by acknowledging that you most likely do have biases, even if you don’t know what they are.

Below you will see some images of people. Write down the first thing that comes to mind when you look at these people.

Once completed, think about why you thought these things and how you could work on changing these instant thoughts and reactions.

Man with messy beard sitting on ground with trolley full of suitcases, clothes and blankets.
Woman in business jacket on laptop smiling.
Two men with long dreadlocks.

Our unconscious bias or ‘blind spots’ are not only based on how people present themselves, we also make judgments and decisions about people based on activities or associations they have in the community. For example, knitting is often seen as an activity for older women, however, as can be seen in several Perth knitting clubs, this is often not at all the case.

Below you will some images of sport and recreation activities. You will be asked to describe the ‘type of person’ you automatically associate with that activity. Things to consider- age, ability, gender, clothes, etc.

Once completed, think about why you thought these things and how you could work on changing these instant thoughts and reactions.

Aqua Aerobics class
Fishing
Scrapbooking
Weightlifting