Implicit racial bias

It is important to distinguish implicit racial bias from racism or discrimination. Implicit biases are associations made by individuals in the unconscious state of mind. This means that, as an individual, they may not even be aware of the biased association.

Implicit racial bias can cause individuals to unknowingly act in discriminatory ways. This does not mean that the individual is overtly racist, but rather that their perceptions have been shaped by experiences and these perceptions potentially result in biased thoughts or actions.

No one is immune from having unconscious thoughts and associations, but becoming aware of implicit racial bias creates an avenue for addressing the issue.

Automatic associations, assumptions and stereotypes about individuals from different ethnic minority groups on occasions can produce blocked opportunities such as being denied a promotion or offering them less remuneration for performing a job or task.

Implicit racial bias can cause various types of stress and can have independent effects on the mental and physical health of those affected.


Further reading