Unconscious bias is an attitude towards a person, or a group of people, which we may not even aware of.
It can be a favourable attitude, where we form positive impressions based on someone’s skin colour, surname or where they come from. Or it can be unfavourable, with negative impressions.
Unconscious bias is sometimes called a hidden bias because it’s hard to detect, even in ourselves, but most people do hold some bias of one kind or another.
Researchers at Harvard University developed a method to help detect unconscious bias. It’s called the Implicit Association Test, and it’s available for anyone to take online.
Unconscious bias can lead to unfair outcomes for some people if it’s not addressed, particularly when it appears in organisations like schools, sports teams or workplaces.
It can mean some people get preferential treatment compared to others. That’s why it’s important for organisations to have strategies in place that can address unconscious bias.