Unconscious Bias

Workshop "Role Perceptions and Unconscious Bias"

Unconscious Bias
Photo: Pixabay

On 25.10.2018 we held our first workshop on the topic "Role Perceptions and Unconscious Bias".

Together with Dr. Katja Hericks (sociologist and long-time Gender Equality Officer) and our fellow student Katya Sumina (Bachelor student with Master in Gender Studies) we had prepared a program of lecture and workshop to help all participants to better recognize and understand their own unconscious biases. The goal was to mitigate the impact of these biases that everyone has through mindfulness and conscious decision making.

You can find Dr. Katja Hericks' presentation slides here..
Our slides are here.

Unconscious Bias
Photo: Pixabay

Program topics at the first days of the bachelor students

Word Cloud
Photo: Erstitage 2020

Since 2018, we have been conducting an exercise on the topic of Unconscious Bias when welcoming new students on their " Introductory Days". There, we explain that the unconscious thinking patterns can have an impact on teamwork, among other things, and that you should be more aware of it. For this, we introduce some biases:

  • Relationship bias ("Ah, I remember Günther from before, he's great, we'll hire him!").
  • Affinity bias (you went to the same university, grew up in the same city, or the person reminds you of someone you know)
  • Attribute bias (certain observations and interactions sometimes make us draw wrong conclusions too quickly, e.g. if the person is late, is in a bad mood, has a stain on their shirt, etc.)
    • Halo effect (a good deed, characteristic, makes us think that everything else about this person must be great too)
    • Horns Effect (opposite to Halo Effect: a bad deed, trait, makes us think that everything else of this person must be bad too)
  • Gender Bias ;) Women and technology (in computer science)? Lol that can't be anything
  • Similarity Bias (people who are similar to us, we automatically find more sympathetic, Mini Me)
  • Authority Bias (people who are higher in the hierarchy are automatically given more competence and respect *cough*)
  • Ageism (people are judged differently because of their age, e.g. young people cannot be as competent as older people)
Word Cloud
Photo: Erstitage 2020
Unconscious Bias
Photo: GBA