Course number: DIV232
Wednesday, June 13 from 1:30-4:30pm
Facilitator: Barbara Thompson
Location: Barbara Ying Center, Room 140
A fundamental quality of the human mind is to group objects into categories based on a wide range of discernible characteristics. This ability helped early people to distinguish friend from foe and was instrumental in our ancestors’ survival. As adaptive as this response may sometimes be, it also is the foundation of the biases, stereotypes, and prejudices that are present in our conscious and unconscious thinking.
Even when we believe that we have eliminated these biases from our thinking, they still lurk in our heads as a sort of “hidden” residue. We may deliberately strive to behave without prejudice and may be consciously committed to equal and fair treatment of other people, but studies indicate that we continue to possess preconceived notions and stereotypes. These “hidden” biases influence our perceptions and actions.
This workshops provides examples of how “hidden” biases may manifest themselves and, through a self-reflective activity, offers participants a way to examine possible stereotypes they may have been exposed to in their lifetimes from four different sources of information – the people who raised you, school, the media, and friends.