Unconscious Bias: Self vs. Others’ Need for Conscious Introspection

  • Awoke D. Dollisso (Iowa State University)


Overall, people tend to have favorable perceptions about themselves when compared to others. These implicit assumptions and conclusions are not based on evidence or reality. Thirty undergraduate students who were taking the same college course together were asked to rate their own perceptions about others using an instrument with sixteen variables. Two weeks later, the same students were asked to rate themselves using exactly the same instrument; but this time each statement started with I instead of People. The participants of this study rated themselves favorably in 15 out of the 16 variables. Eight variables show statistically significant differences. For example, these participants assumed that others are: naturally lazy; motivated by fear; work for money or reward; naturally dependent on others etc. The participants were handed with the findings of this study and were asked to analyze and provide explanations as to why these ratings show evident differences. These participants were somewhat perplexed by the rating differences and their own thinking process. This activity allowed students to reflect on their own assumptions and become cognizant of an evasive nature of implicit bias and need for introspection.



Published on
03 Mar 2016
Peer Reviewed