Awareness of Implicit Bias and the Inclination to Change Behavior




Miller, Kallista R.
Vasquez, Denise Y.
Parr, Emma G.
Smith, Izzy P.
Lacrosse, Patrcia G.
Rivers, Alannah S.

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This study examined awareness of bias as a catalyst to behavioral change among individuals. Previous research regarding weight bias and stigma have concluded that they have substantial negative psychological and physiological effects, and can lead to damaging coping behaviors. IAT’s (Implicit Association Tests) have been used in scientific studies to measure bias towards weight and have been key in many studies who have looked to mitigate weight stigma at a large scale. Our study used a sample of 30 individuals who completed two rounds of the Harvard (‘Fat - Thin’ IAT). Two groups of participants were separated, with the experimental group receiving their first test’s results before taking the test again. The findings of this study back up past research that has looked at the effects of the awareness of bias and mitigating actions and feelings of bias. No statistically significant results were found between the control and experimental groups, however, there was a considerable trend in data that implies awareness of bias mitigates bias. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alannah Rivers)