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Our Positive or Negative Bias

Essay by   •  December 3, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  1,193 Words (5 Pages)  •  36 Views

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Human beings are constantly and profoundly bias (Herandez,2017). This is known as implicit bias, where it is being done unconsciously and without intentional control. They are often involuntarily activated at a young age, and majority of the people did not acknowledge that they uphold them. Implicit biases do not align with personal identities. We sometimes unknowingly categorize certain personalities with respective gender, ethnicity or background (Berghoef, 2018). Additionally, in 1998 Banaji and Greenwald successfully developed the well-known Implicit Association Test (IAT) to determine the level of implicit bias within an individual. Despite that the Implicit Association Test has been repetitively proving implicit bias, recently there is much debate that whether implicit bias could be measured.

As above stated, implicit bias is the automatic positive or negative feelings that people have while considering a particular topic. Example such as, when the term “woman” is mentioned, people will either instantly associate the term with a positive word or negative word. Implicit biases shaped an impact upon each and every aspect of our lives. They affect our decision, behaviours and interaction with others.

Furthermore, regardless of our positive or negative bias, majority of our implicit bias is originated from our vicarious experience such association with books, media, culture etc. Whereas, the minorities of our implicit bias came from direct experiences with other parties (Kang, 2009). Besides that, acknowledging implicit bias is relatively important as it tied to a bigger picture of its connection to inequality context. According to a significant research, it concludes that implicit bias can have negative and harmful effects to the society. By achieving social justice goals, it is critical to addressed implicit bias on multiple levels (Kirwan, 2013).

It is notable that how the teachers treat their own students within the classroom is affected by implicit bias. Yale Child study Centre conducted a study, claimed that implicit racial bias affects the performance of a student in the classroom; Stating that black student in specific have a higher probability to get kick out from their respective school due to their “challenging behaviour” compare to the white student in general (Berghoef, 2018). The results show that implicit bias inevitably a stereotype threat, which happened due to internalizing negative stereotypes about an individual group. A test study was done by the researchers to showcase the effect. Both black and white students with similar examination score were instructed to complete a standardized test. The sample is being divided into two separate groups, where 50% of the class were told that the purpose of the test is to measure their intelligence level, while the remaining half was told that it was a problem- solving base test which does not correlate with their ability. The black students from group number 1 in general, received a lower score than the white students; Oppose from group 1, in the second group, the average score that the black students received is equivalent to the white students. Thus, it is proved that the first group had been affected by stereotype threat when the exam measured intelligence was stated by the researcher. Similarly, there were no difference in results when comparing male and female performance on math examination.

There have been numbers of measuring tools to measure implicit bias, conversely the most well-known and commonly used tools will be the Implicit Association Test. It is used to measures the strength of associations between concepts and evaluations or characteristics (Handelsman and Sakraney 2006). The Implicit Association Test is seen as a revolutionary achievement by many social psychologists and throughout the years it has become both the primary focus of the entire subfield of research and a prominent supporter of diversity trainings in the country (Singal, 2017). IAT is being functioned, where the participants sit in front of the computer screen and a series of faces from different ethnicity with positive andnegative terms will be given. Then, the participants were instructed to associate the positive and negative terms with respective topics and tracks how many mistakes is being made make and the participant’s reaction time is measured. Example such as, if participants responded quicker to positive terms when being paired with phrases associated with women than having negative terms then suggest that participants have automatic preference or implicit bias for women over men.

Aside from that, like any measures, the test does consist limitations. For instant, recently it has become a controversial topic where the association between implicit bias and discriminatory behaviour has long been argued. 80,859 participants were involved in the Implicit Association test, examined by researcher from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Harvard, and the University of Virginia (Bartlett, 2017). Oppose from what is being expected, a weaker correlation between implicit bias and discriminatory behaviour was discovered by the researchers; Giving a conclusion that the evidence that changes

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