Are You a Victim of Implicit Bias?

In the past week, one of my fellow class mates, asked me a unexpected question ” Are you an Indian?”. I replied “yes i am, Why do you ask?” because i was unclear with the intent of that question as i sensed a lot of frustration in her voice when she asked me that question.  Later, after continuing that conversation with her, i realized that, she had asked this, because she has a fellow Graduate Assistant, who happens to be from India as well, and that she has had quite few unpleasant experiences working with him.

Her actual underlying question for the former question was ” Are all Indians, lazy and in-punctual ?”
I asked her have you ever had any complains from my end through out the semester be it regarding my work enthusiasm or my punctuality. To which she immediately replied, praising my work ethics as she felt i was offended (hehehe). Later we talked and concluded that, No that is not a fact nor an characteristic aspects of people from India, and such habits, I believe are completely personal.

But this conversation left me thinking, that is this a stereotypical subject or not, and after some research “talking to my girlfriend”, i discovered the term Implicit Bias. Unlike explicit bias (which reflects the attitudes or beliefs that one endorses at a conscious level), implicit bias is the bias in judgment or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes that often operate at a level below conscious awareness and without intentional control.

In simpler words, because of my friends experience with other Indians, she was confused when she didn’t experience the say frustration while working with me, also an Indian. As well as, if it were a student of her home country, she would have found a genuine reason for the in-punctuality rather then just making conclusion directly.  This conclusion and confusion at her end, which i learnt, is completely natural and very common in all human beings.

Here is an elaborate article based on a research explaining the roots of implicit bias  and on how implicit bias is a natural humane tendency.

But, is it just me, and international non-american student who was judged by another international non-american student or even you have been a victim of implicit bias? Did you just ignored it?


13 Comments Add yours

  1. judithdandan says:

    Implicit bias is a new word to me. I agree with you. It indeed a seriously potential human nature. It is hard to wave completely in globe worldview. However, as a individual, we need to against and interpret.

    1. lonelyfatbeard says:

      I agree, after reading the article, i learnt that it can be controlled with practical consciousness and an open mind.

  2. rabi80 says:

    The problem is that it will take a bit of time to that to be changed!!

    1. lonelyfatbeard says:

      Certainly yes… time will test us all

  3. jodyleylax says:

    I have encountered that a few times but I let the other person draw their conclusion about me, they’ll eventually see, hopefully, that everyone is not the same and judging people because of their ethnicity is just plain stupid.

    1. lonelyfatbeard says:

      Yes.. Stupid… thats what it is.. may God grace them with his blessing.

  4. noufabdulla says:

    i did not understand that, why people judge others about their country or their religion or whatever! and when you ask someone why did you say that, his or her answer will be like this, because I had one of my friends or one of classmates bla bla bla, Ok that your friends or classmates not others! we are not the same.

    1. lonelyfatbeard says:

      I share your frustration, everyone should be valued or judged on their personal level and not draw generic notions based on an isolated incident.

  5. ghadeeralsh4 says:

    I guess as an international student we will always face this no matter how people say that they don’t stereotype somehow they do. even we do uncontrollably !!

    1. lonelyfatbeard says:

      That makes me sad … but even motivates me to prove their prejudice wrong

  6. ineskrb says:

    Yesterday, with my Media Society class, we watched John Oliver’s show on the French elections, and television showed only Frenchmen who smoked cigarettes and drank wine… so cliche ! I think we all have to live with that, and its our mission to prove the contrary !

  7. reemkulaib says:

    I don’t see it reasonable to judge people from the same country because bad experience with one or two person from this country.

    1. lonelyfatbeard says:

      Exactly my point

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