Identifying and Overcoming Implicit Biases

Siobahn Hotaling is a UI/UX designer, writer, and research consultant with over 25 years of experience in the technology industry, leadership, and management. In addition to her roles as a senior UX designer at Global Payments in Melville, New York, and project consultant at Adaptation Institute in Gilbert, Arizona, Siobahn Hotaling develops implicit bias transformation programs.

Implicit bias is an unconscious attitude, association, or belief based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. Implicit bias can take various forms, including affinity bias (gravitating toward people with similar characteristics), beauty bias (favoring attractive people), name bias (judging people on their names), and weight bias (judging people on their weight).

Although identifying implicit biases can be challenging, individuals can ask themselves several questions or take an implicit attitude test to see how they react to various situations. For instance, how do they treat people of a different race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation? Do they have preconceptions or form assumptions about people based on their physical appearance?

Upon recognizing an implicit bias, individuals should review their internal conversations, work on modifying their perspective, and focus on the positive qualities of people rather than superficial ones. Individuals with biases should also strive to increase contact with people of different social groups and treat them fairly and respectfully regardless of their differences.

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Siobahn Hotaling

Siobahn Hotaling — Musician and Digital Marketing Professional