Negative or positive associations people unknowingly hold, also known as unconscious or hidden bias. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness, providing unearned advantage to those in dominant groups and unearned disadvantage to those in marginalized groups. Many studies have indicated that implicit biases affect individuals’ attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that those biases exist within themselves. Notably, implicit biases have been shown to undermine individuals’ stated commitments to equality and fairness, thereby producing behavior that diverges from the explicit attitudes that many people profess. The term “implicit bias” many times is used to avoid naming internalized racism, internalized sexism, etc.
Adapted from Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center