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Raising Awareness and Reducing Bias

Social categorization usually occurs based on group membership and observable demographic characteristics, such as gender, race, age, and religious affiliation. Categorization has advantages because it can improve the storage and retrieval of information. However, stereotypes can be associated with social categories. Sometimes these stereotypes can result in implicit biases that can (unknowingly) affect decision making and how people behave. For example, research has shown that implicit biases can affect a variety of outcomes including a judge’s legal decisions, a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment recommendations, and human resources decisions.

In academia, empirical research has demonstrated that implicit gender biases can have negative effects on recruitment, selection, promotion, and development of women faculty, particularly, in STEM fields. These effects can be further exacerbated for minority women faculty. Funded by the NSF ADVANCE grant, a workshop will be developed to increase awareness of implicit bias, and various strategies to reduce implicit bias will be outlined. The workshop will be given to all faculty and department chairs. This initiative is led by Dr. Patrick Rosopa, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology.

Team

Dr. Rosopa (Psychology) will lead initiatives related to implicit bias, including collection and analysis of data. Dr. Zagenczyk (Management) will lead the research on organizational behavior and construct surveys to assess identity and other organizational behavior related concepts. Dr. Melissa Vogel (Sociology and Anthropology) will lead the TIGER Advocates activity and work closely with Dr. Roger Green and colleagues at North Dakota State University who will provide training for TIGER Advocates