Unconscious Bias (UB) is one part of the overall Diversity and Inclusion work across MUSC.
Diversity and inclusion refers to the richness of human differences and the intentional engagement with each other through professional development, education, policy, and practice. Diversity and inclusion is about stories. It encourages us to notice who is at the table and who is missing from the discussion. As we become more diverse, we have more frequent encounters with what is unfamiliar. Consequently we may find ourselves more surprised by our own assumptions. Recognizing and intentionally working on our UB is the next step in encouraging and supporting healthy conversations, behaviors, and policy around MUSC.
UB—also known as implicit social cognition—refers to thoughts and feelings that are outside of conscious awareness and control. Although we all would like to believe that we are objective and capable of judging people solely on the basis of merit, over 20 years of research demonstrates that we generally fall short of our self-perceptions (see Banaji et al, 2003). There are many forms of cognitive biases which humans have developed out of the need to rapidly process new and extensive amounts of information. Unconscious bias can be particularly insidious because what we are unaware of we don’t address, and we may unintentionally promote. Increasing awareness of bias and assumptions and their role in evaluation is an important first step in minimizing their influence. There is a vast literature on unconscious bias. This page provides links to some online resources and a list of suggested strategies for minimizing bias in faculty recruitment, which are adapted from Northwestern resources.