Need of the hour: Acknowledging your bias.

Audio recording of written content

In a deeply polarized world, each of us have created our own biases which may be a result of direct experiences, or narrations by close one demeaning selected groups or individuals. Our implicit (unconscious) biases not only divide the world further, fuel growing hatred, but also act as an electoral issue, or a business opportunity for several people. This is not to say we can get rid of all biases, as it is natural for us, humans, to have opinions about others, however, it is up to us to acknowledge and act (or not) upon it.

While we discuss the idea of equality at great lengths, it is difficult, if not impossible, to reach a standard of inclusion in our own space unless we acknowledge and unlearn our biases. This is true when it comes to educational institutions, work places, and our personal lives. In the field of education, professors have a profound role in shaping our thoughts and opinions, and their taught content may reflect their biases, for example the case studies they present or the scholars they may refer to. Therefore, it is crucial for professors to acknowledge their bias and allow students to critically think about issues. Similarly, in work spaces, our biases may be reflected in the kind of projects we opt for, who we recruit or even the organization we aim to join.

How can you acknowledge your bias?
It begins by self-reflection, and understanding the roots your implicit bias. Think about the group of friends you have, the selection of your neighborhood, the kind of people you date, and try to observe or find a pattern. If the pattern you recognize is based on certain characteristics of an individual or a group, there may be a hint of bias! Once you recognize the bias, just accept it, and try to unlearn.
Don't worry though, according to experts almost everyone displays bias in some way or another.

If you are curious to measure the limits of your implicit bias, here are a few links (cnn:2015) -

Understanding Prejudice: Implicit Association Test

Teaching Tolerance: Test Yourself for Hidden Bias

Look Different: Bias Cleanse

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