Insights Into Teens

Insights Into Teens: Episode 177 "Unconscious Bias"

August 20, 2023 Madison and Joseph Whalen Season 5 Episode 177
Insights Into Teens: Episode 177 "Unconscious Bias"
Insights Into Teens
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Insights Into Teens
Insights Into Teens: Episode 177 "Unconscious Bias"
Aug 20, 2023 Season 5 Episode 177
Madison and Joseph Whalen

Ever wondered how your unconscious mind could be steering your decisions, actions, and perceptions? Welcome to another enlightening episode of Insights into Teens, where we, Joseph and Madison, will guide you through the labyrinth of the human mind to uncover the subtle yet pervasive phenomena of unconscious biases. We unravel how these hidden prejudices shape our everyday lives and potentially impact workforce diversity.

Join us as we delve into the different types of unconscious biases, including affinity bias—our inherent inclination towards those who share similarities with us, and the halo effect— our tendency to overgeneralize a positive first impression. We'll shed light on these biases using personal anecdotes and observations, to help you recognize how these biases might quietly exist even within your closest relations.

But we won't stop at just recognizing these biases; we're committed to helping you overcome them. Learn from us how becoming more aware of our prejudices can lead us to more reflective and conscious thinking and action. We'll explore techniques to interrupt these biases and enact positive change in our attitudes. We also highlight the role of positive influences in our lives in helping us identify and correct our prejudices. So, buckle up and get ready to challenge your perceptions and become a better version of yourself today.

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Ever wondered how your unconscious mind could be steering your decisions, actions, and perceptions? Welcome to another enlightening episode of Insights into Teens, where we, Joseph and Madison, will guide you through the labyrinth of the human mind to uncover the subtle yet pervasive phenomena of unconscious biases. We unravel how these hidden prejudices shape our everyday lives and potentially impact workforce diversity.

Join us as we delve into the different types of unconscious biases, including affinity bias—our inherent inclination towards those who share similarities with us, and the halo effect— our tendency to overgeneralize a positive first impression. We'll shed light on these biases using personal anecdotes and observations, to help you recognize how these biases might quietly exist even within your closest relations.

But we won't stop at just recognizing these biases; we're committed to helping you overcome them. Learn from us how becoming more aware of our prejudices can lead us to more reflective and conscious thinking and action. We'll explore techniques to interrupt these biases and enact positive change in our attitudes. We also highlight the role of positive influences in our lives in helping us identify and correct our prejudices. So, buckle up and get ready to challenge your perceptions and become a better version of yourself today.

No Credits Rolled, where we play the games you love but rarely finish them!

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

An original podcast by a husband and wife team of self professed pop-culture geeks. It is a discussion about all things entertainment from movies and music to television and pop culture. We examine some of the more obscure aspects of the entertainment industry.

Create Harmony

This is a podcast about setting an intentional rhythm, savoring life’s blessings and...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Speaker 1:

Insightful Podcasts by Informative Hosts. Insights into Things a podcast network. Welcome to Insights into Teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today's youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Insights into Teens. This is episode 177, unconscious bias. I'm your host, joseph Whalen, and my objective and open-minded co-host, madison Whalen.

Speaker 3:

Hi everyone.

Speaker 2:

How are you doing today, Maddie?

Speaker 3:

I'm doing alright. How about you?

Speaker 2:

I'm doing quite alright. Anything exciting going on with you before we get into the topic of the day.

Speaker 3:

Well, mommy's been off all week, so we've been doing some stuff together.

Speaker 2:

That's nice. What'd you guys do today?

Speaker 3:

We went to the shore.

Speaker 2:

Nice. Did you get to see any of the planes from the air show? I know they're doing the AC Air Show today.

Speaker 3:

No, but we saw plenty of advertisements.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, that's good.

Speaker 3:

Didn't get Ad Blocker on the beach. You know I think that's like a separate subscription or something Right right, nice.

Speaker 2:

So today we're going to talk about unconscious bias and the impact it has on all of us To be introduced to some common types of biases that have a large impact in our lives. We'll also talk about how to notice the effects of bias in your schools and in your communities. This awareness is what is needed to begin to make the necessary changes in our behavior, which we'll address in our last segment. But before we do that, I would like to encourage all of our viewing and listening audience to continue to subscribe to the podcast.

Speaker 2:

As we announced last week, we recently surpassed the 50,000 downloads mark of the Insights into Teens podcast. That doesn't include the individual podcast, which are audio only. So thanks to our local, our local, our loyal listeners for that. We'd love to get your feedback on how we're doing, what topics you'd like us to discuss or your opinions on the things we talk about on the show, and we'd love to share your feedback with the audience. So you can contact us at comments at insights into thingscom via email, you can hit us on Twitter at insights underscore things, or you can check us out on the web at wwwinsightsintothingscom for all of our social media links. Are we ready?

Speaker 3:

I think we are.

Speaker 2:

Here we go. So what is unconscious bias? Unconscious bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our views, our actions and our decision making ability. Scientific research in this area demonstrates how unconscious bias is automatically activated and affects how we think day to day. It also impacts hiring and evaluation processes and contributes to the lack of workforce diversity and even how we treat others on a personal level. The unconscious part of the concept indicates we're not actively aware of the root of those decisions are impacted by the stories, beliefs or perceptions we may have of others. This implies that we are skewed in some way in our decision making, but unconscious biases are, in fact, not a judgment. Everyone is biased. Each of us holds a set of perspectives that help us navigate a complex world efficiently. Our goal is to bring awareness to the subject that is misunderstood and, in some cases, unnecessarily over complicated. We're going to attempt to simplify unconscious bias today, and our hope is that you'll have a better understanding of the concept and some tools for how to think and behave differently.

Speaker 3:

So what's the impact of bias? Is a small amount of bias really going to dramatically affect your life? The short answer is yes and the long answer is still yes. Researchers created a computer simulation that showed a 1% bias in favor of promoting men in the workplace. You might think that beginning with the same number of men and women in entry level positions and applying a 1% bias in promotion wouldn't change the expected 50-50 outcome. In fact, applying a 1% bias in favor of men at every six month interview for 10 years led to 65% of the most senior positions in the company being held by men. Every decision made about a person, from the time you meet them to when were hired, to the time were promoted, passed over, get fired or quit. Each decision costs us and wrong decisions send us running to the nearest online employer rating board or college message board to post a negative review. And failure to attend to unconscious bias can even impede positive organizational change and organizational resilience.

Speaker 2:

The study dealt with bias in the workplace. Obviously, and while the initial research simulation was only run at 1%, when you add additional factors to the equation, things get worse. By adding in the bias that occurs when the job description is written, recruiting begins, interviews take place, hiring decisions are made and then promotions are considered, you can see how the situation compounds. A small amount of bias has a large impact on our lives. The effects are dramatic and exponential, and as we continue to shine a light on unconscious bias, we need to also keep in mind that people are increasingly making decisions about the schools they attend, professions they enter and job offers based on the institution's reputation. Diversity issues. As candidates, we have choices.

Speaker 2:

In order to remain competitive, colleges and businesses will need to address each aspect of the process from start to finish, so this kind of became more of an issue recently with a recent ruling from the Supreme Court that we talked about already, in which they shot down the idea of affirmative action that was designed to combat discrimination and bias based on race. What they're talking about with unconscious bias here is something that clearly the court didn't take into account, because the whimsical majority of the courts thoughts were oh well, discrimination isn't an issue anymore. We just need to make it not an issue and make it go away, and we shouldn't have government get involved with that. But unconscious bias says that human beings by their very nature are biased. What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 3:

I would honestly, you know, agree with the science. Obviously I feel like everybody is biased, depending on you know how you were raised, where you grew up, and really what you feel is what you learned was okay and not okay. I'll fully admit I'm a biased person when it comes to my own beliefs and I can find it difficult to relate to people that don't necessarily share my experiences or have different perspectives. And I'm not saying that we can't, you know, talk to each other, even if we have, you know, different beliefs and so forth. It's just, it's somewhat difficult when you kind of have a bias against somebody and you kind of have your own perceptions and stereotypes of them in a more unconscious way, rather than more or less trying to have it purposefully.

Speaker 2:

And it's funny because the study almost seems to suggest that conscious bias that we're aware of is better than unconscious bias, because when you're not aware that you're biased about something you really can't do anything about it yeah. You know, and that unconscious bias may be something that's enforced from childhood. Maybe it's biased that your parents instilled on you. It could be cultural, it could be religious, it could be any number of things that has just been ingrained in you that you don't realize. You have a bias against someone for something.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I feel like, especially when it comes to unconscious bias versus conscious bias, it's a lot harder to kind of change your ways or even like move past that bias when you don't know that you have it. I think that's kind of an obvious statement. But when you're conscious of a bias you have, you can obviously that's like basically the first step and you can take steps to eventually overcome that bias. But when you have an unconscious bias to something, it's much harder to actually realize that you had a bias, whether it was something you had through childhood or something that was just ingrained in your mind for however long you really knew. So I certainly would agree with the fact that conscious bias is probably like it's probably easier to have, or it's better to have conscious bias. That way you know you have it and you can improve from it, rather than unconscious bias when you never actually realize it.

Speaker 2:

And I think the other important takeaway here is to understand that bias is natural. It's, to a certain extent, it is an instinctive survival trait that humans have had since we were living in caves. It's that bias, that things that we perceive as being a threat to us or not being advantageous to us for our survival or for our procreation, for our continued existence. We develop a bias against those things. So we try to weed those types of things out of the group mentality that we're in. So it's not unusual to be biased. It's what you do with that bias and whether or not you allow that bias to result in injustices. What were you going to say?

Speaker 3:

I was going to say that not all biases, at least in that case, are necessarily bad. Like, yes, you can have biases related to your own survival. It's almost like with fear. I think that fear and bias can kind of coag, are kind of intertwined in some way, where it's like you kind of have a fear on something based on a bias you have with it and some biases. It's okay to have some of them because it's like you feel some. Like, yes, you can feel threatened by certain things. Obviously, some are certainly a bit more extreme to where you should probably kind of reevaluate it when you can. But an important thing to notice that bias isn't necessarily a negative thing and if somebody says that you have a bias, I don't think anyone should really be super defensive of it too much.

Speaker 2:

And you're absolutely right. It's one of those things where, just because your bias doesn't mean you're doing something, you're allowing it to force you into a negative action. Bias allow us to unconsciously recognize differences in people, and a successful society understands there's differences racial, religious, cultural, societal and it's a matter of celebrating those differences. You turn those differences into an advantage for the overall society, Instead of looking at it as one being superior over the other. A lot of times, the differences that our biases key on are complementary and I think a lot of people, when they look at it from a discrimination standpoint which is what a lot of people think of when they think of bias the discrimination side of things is where you're recognizing those biases that you have, but then you're allowing them to rule your thoughts and allowing negative outcomes to come from them, Whereas you know we just had this is a whimsical example but we just have rotisserie chicken for dinner.

Speaker 2:

Well, you like dark meat and I like white meat. Okay, they're biases, but that means that when we have a rotisserie chicken, it doesn't go to waste. The whole thing gets eaten at that point in time. So that's just a silly example of how you could take something where someone's biased against something and turn it into a positive type thing. Do you ever run into bias, or what would be defined as unconscious bias? In this case, what are day-to-day activities with friends or at school or out and about, if you're in the mall or something like that? Have you ever experienced anything like that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, kind of Now, as much as I want to say, you know, don't judge a book by its cover or don't judge somebody by their own appearance. I feel like I unconsciously do that in a lot of instances Only as a way, of course, to seek out any threats, because sometimes I like to wear more bright and colorful stuff that might kind of set some people off, because I know it sets certain people off and I'm worried about interacting or being near people that it would set off. So I kind of have an unconscious bias of, okay, who seems like they would be set off by the way that I look. And again, it's unconscious and I really don't mean to be thinking that way, but it's like it's kind of just how it is for me.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I understand that A lot of people judge unconsciously judge appearances, and I'm a great example of that. I'm six foot four, 500 pounds. I'm an ogre, you know, and I've accepted that, and I look like an ogre, but personality wise I'm generally a pretty nice guy to talk to and get along with.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I've also kind of had a similar thing, at least when I came to my appearance, because I've had a couple of people kind of mention it. I normally kind of wear dark clothes, at least when it comes to the winter and so forth. I normally like cover up a lot, wearing like leggings and the hoodie and such, and I've had multiple people mention that I look depressed that way or that if I dressed a different way I would seem happier, which I feel is kind of an unconscious bias on their part to the idea of like, oh, people who are depressed wear darker clothes and cover up more and don't seem to express themselves through their looks.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that's a great example of unconscious biases. Oh, if you're depressed, just wear something brighter, you'll feel happier. And it's like that's not the way that works.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, same thing with the idea of oh, if you're sad, just smile more.

Speaker 2:

Right, right, yeah, it's like yay, it takes a little bit more than that to solve those types of problems. So we're going to take a quick break and when we come back we're going to look at some of the different common types of bias. When we come back We'll be right back. For over seven years, the Second Sith Empire has been the premier community guild in the online game Star Wars, the Old Republic, with hundreds of friendly and helpful active members, a weekly schedule of nightly events, annual guild meet and greets and an active community both on the web and on discord. The Second Sith Empire is more than your typical gaming group. We're family. Join us on the Starforge server for nightly events such as operations, flashpoints, world Boss Hunts, star Wars Trivia, guild Lottery and much more. Visit us on the web today at wwwthesecantsithempirecom.

Speaker 3:

Welcome back to Insight and the Teen. Today we're talking about unconscious bias, and now we're going to talk about some of the common types of bias. So the first we have is affinity bias. Failing is hard, and we're told that playing favorites is wrong, and so, as parents, we struggle to make sure everything is fair. I'm not a parent, by the way.

Speaker 2:

I probably should have read that segment.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'm just going to say I'm not a parent, but okay, you have a cat.

Speaker 3:

Sure, we'll go with that. That works. But if you have a sibling or your parent yourself, it isn't difficult to tell who the favorite is, and for that you can place the blame squarely on affinity bias. Affinity bias is the tendency to warm up to people like ourselves. We favor those who have something in common with us. So, as a parent, a child who plays the same sport you did in high school or who has your creative gene, is usually the one you relate to the most and are the closest with.

Speaker 2:

So I'm going to ask a very controversial question at this point. Oh boy, who do you think is my favorite, you or Sam?

Speaker 3:

I'd probably say Sam, considering you got. If we're just going strictly based off of this bias, you have a lot more in common with Sam. He was your first child and you probably relate to him a lot more. So, strictly on affinity bias, I'd say that he's your favorite.

Speaker 2:

See, and I don't want to cop out and say that I don't have favorites A lot of parents want to say that, but I really don't. You know, for me and this is obviously off topic but for me you guys each have different aspects of my personality that I connect with. So it's really, it's a you know. Obviously I see you more because you're living here in the house with us and, as a result, when I do see Sam, he and I wind up kind of monopolizing the conversation because I don't see him very often but I don't think I favor one of you over the other.

Speaker 3:

And I mean I will say that I think you and I do have stuff in common. Like I, despite the fact I really hate reading, I have your like talent for writing.

Speaker 2:

Well, I wouldn't say talent, but desire for writing From a creative standpoint. I think we are very much on par outside of all my other creative stuff. But you know, I mean I may not be able to do the artistic stuff that you do, but I can certainly take a step back and give you an independent opinion of it that provides value to you, I hope. So, anyway, just wanted to say I don't have favorites just for the record.

Speaker 2:

So the next bias that we have is Halo bias. I know this is not the Microsoft game. First impressions have a lot to do with the Halo effect, for example. Let's say you have a friend your parents like because she was polite or got great grades, they don't worry. When you hang out together and allow you to stay out later with them, you might not get a lot of the usual questions a parent would ask about where are you going and what time will you be home. So it's a win-win for everyone. However, you soon learn she shoplifted, she cheated on exams and was into whatever the new illicit trend was at the time. So you stop hanging out with that friend because you realize she wasn't a good influence. Your parents, however, can't wrap their heads around it. They can't believe they were so wrong about her. Even after she suspended from school they still ask whatever happened to that nice friend you had.

Speaker 3:

The Halo effect is our tendency to think everything about a person is good because our first impression of them was good. In this case, the parents liked the friend. She came from a good family and she was polite. The same thing happens at the same thing happens at to all of us.

Speaker 2:

I think that at probably wasn't supposed to be in there.

Speaker 3:

Okay, yeah, I was confused.

Speaker 2:

This is why I like to do read throughs.

Speaker 3:

Why didn't we do one then?

Speaker 2:

Because we're going to flub it and we flubbed it All right, moving on.

Speaker 3:

Think about a student who has a big project that they make great success of, but who hasn't lived up to it since. In fact, this person is coming in late, making a lot of mistakes and routinely relies on others to get her work done on time. If the teacher rates her highly, based on the perception that she's a great student, this student is just like the teenage friend.

Speaker 2:

Now, do you know anyone like that?

Speaker 3:

Anyone that like has good stuff and then just doesn't do good stuff later on.

Speaker 2:

Well, anyone who who is perceived by people as being someone who you know them not to be.

Speaker 3:

I mean kind of. I had this one friend who was also one of the friends that said, you know, had the unconscious bias that if I, you know, dressed differently I wouldn't be depressed.

Speaker 2:

Your fashion friend right Got it.

Speaker 3:

I'm not going to. So they were a good student because they were in a higher class, because they were in my advanced geometry class. However, when I talked with them at lunch because we had the same lunch period they were a completely different person and somehow admitted some really weird stuff, Like I'll get into detail.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but it was like it was weird stuff to where it's like I don't know why, like I never perceived that of them and like they would just casually say it to me and my other friend and like we were both kind of weirded out by it.

Speaker 2:

So Okay, so that would be a yes.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I should have gone with them more simply.

Speaker 2:

So the next type of bias is perception bias.

Speaker 2:

So perception bias is the tendency to form stereotypes and assumptions about certain groups that make it difficult to make an objective judgment about individual members of those groups.

Speaker 2:

While affinity bias and halo effect tend to be specific to an individual and our perception of them, perception bias is typically based on a larger labeling of a group and influences everyone associated with that group, meaning if we had an experience that our neighbor's child who volunteers at a local retirement community is generous and helpful, when you meet another child who was also volunteered in the similar way, you would have a difficult time seeing any negative traits. We apply the same logic to people we encounter in life. The study published by the National Academy of Sciences determined there's an assumption that men are better suited for science and technology related projects than women. So how does that affect women, as an example, when hiring for a web designer, a search engine optimization analyst or a data scientist, if nine out of ten candidates are men, it's difficult to put aside the perception that anyone else can be successful in those types of jobs and hire a woman.

Speaker 3:

Our experience has shown us that men work in these roles, not women, so we gravitate towards perception we are accustomed to. While there are many programs in place to increase the number of women in the fields, the disparity cannot be addressed until women are perceived as just as capable as men in traditionally male dominated fields. The problem actually lies in the bias that makes those assumptions in the first place, and not as much in the hiring process. If the bias is based on stereotype rather than fact, the act of overlooking underrepresented groups of people will continue. If we don't stop and question when the bias is reinforced by the inequality we see, then we will continue to believe and perpetrate them.

Speaker 2:

Perpetuate them.

Speaker 3:

Perpetuate them, sorry.

Speaker 2:

You're not going to perpetrate them. That would be a crime.

Speaker 3:

Sorry. Tackling the underlying and conscious bias can be achieved by acknowledging the problem exists, ensuring there is widespread awareness of it, resolving to do something about it and becoming accountable for your actions.

Speaker 2:

So I can talk kind of from firsthand experience with this. When I do hiring at work, I'm always hiring for a technical position either it's an IT related or development or what have you. And the last couple of positions I had posted jobs for was for development positions and it was probably a 10 to 1 ratio of men to women applying for the positions and trying to be an equal opportunity employer when it comes to gender, race, everything. It's very difficult to find suitable candidates that fit the requirements when you have such a disparity like that in the applicant pool. So I try. You know, the one particular position, the best candidate that I had in the pool, happened to be this young lady who was very talented. I would have really liked to have hired her and in fact we even offered her a position, but we couldn't come to terms on the financial numbers. But there were probably for that one highly qualified candidate, there was probably eight other male candidates that were as qualified or slightly less. So it's very difficult to kind of not have a bias when your applicant pool is that sideways. You know I don't really have a solution for that. I try to consider everyone based on their merits, and if I look at everyone and I don't look at a name and I just look at their qualifications. I can usually pick the people out of an applicant pool that would be the best person and then from there I try not to let unconscious bias filter into that scenario. Maybe I do, maybe I'm unconsciously biased to female applicants because of the influence that you and mommy have on me and how much you've opened my eyes to the I don't want to get dramatic and say the plight of women, but the conditions that women, you know have to exist in the workforce, and maybe I'm trying to do my part to ease that. And maybe it's a reverse bias. I don't know. It's like I'm maybe not just over analyzing it at this point, but I can speak from experience that that's a problem in the workforce for sure. So the next one we have is one that I experience all the time, that's confirmation bias.

Speaker 2:

Confirm bias is described as seeking out evidence that confirms our initial perceptions, ignoring contrary information. It's a little late. It's a little like a debate Each side prepares for their argument with facts, figures and studies that will support their position and they will disregard or find fault with the opposing viewpoint. To win the debate, confirm bias gets on one side of that debate and allows us to only accept what supports our argument. Confirmation bias can make a bad situation worse because we become stubborn and refuse to change our opinion.

Speaker 2:

We seek out information, evidence that justifies our position or makes us feel like we're right or wrong, and, contrary to that, we may wind up ignoring evidence that's presented to us that is against our argument at the same time. So, for example, let's say Bob has an idea for a new product that he believes will be well received by the public. He does market research and presents findings that support his initial idea. When his coworker presents data that shows the product won't be profitable, bob discounts it. Bob has data, his coworker has data. Both people believe their data proves the point. Confirmation bias becomes a problem when Bob pushes the product to market based solely on his data.

Speaker 3:

To combat confirmation bias, we need to review the data we have in our possession all of it. We need to use the pros and the cons to objectively make a decision based on both sides of the data. Look for data that disproves your point and ask others to review your conclusions. The best way to get over confirmation bias is to find someone who is unbiased that you can present both sides to.

Speaker 2:

And this is something that's done in the scientific circles all the time. You see a lot of people that will publish papers in journals to try to garner support for their theories and their projects and what they're working on. But when there are studies that are published that aren't peer reviewed, they're almost scoffed at right off the bat automatically. So the idea of peer review in science is very important. When other people look at the work that you did and either review the work and the data or take the work you did and try to reproduce it to support your theory, it lends credence to what you're doing, and for people to not seek out the peer review is really a rush to judgment. And then what happens is you get a lot of people that come out and talk about. Well, there was one that was recently in the news about this new compound that was found that would be used as a superconductor at room temperature. So just a little aside, superconductors exist in the world today and they're used for fusion and various supercomputing things and stuff like that, but they all have to be super cool to near absolute zero. In fact, when you go for an MRI at the hospital, it uses superconducting magnets that are supercool by helium, liquid helium. So this material that they discovered and did some testing on could have the same properties of a superconductor, but without the supercooling. It could do it at room temperature.

Speaker 2:

And they published a paper. Well, they had some people that came out and then supported it. But you had some people come out and say, well, nobody reviewed this stuff, nobody looked at this, nobody looked at you, check your data or anything like that. This is nothing but a theory at this point in time, and they basically discredit it, all the work that they did, because of the confirmation bias. So when you're in that sort of situation, you have to be objective enough to have your theories tested. If you lack sufficient confidence in your argument to have it stand up to scrutiny and debate, then you don't have an argument at that point in time.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Can you think of any examples where people put forth their ideas and either ridicule or discredit or don't want to hear anyone who has a contrary point of view?

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

That was a softball I tossed up there for you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I was going to say I feel like it's kind of easy to be, you know, find that now, unfortunately, because so many people are like so headstrong in their own beliefs that they won't even do their own research, they'll just like say that like they'll find, like the one source that agrees with them that again probably wasn't peer reviewed, so it's probably inaccurate anyway, and we'll, you know, pretty much go headfirst in the keeping it. And I'll say I probably also have that kind of bias because I mean, like I try to get multiple sources but for the most part, when it comes to discrediting people, I kind of just look up the first thing I see to show that the other person didn't really do their research first. But that again I should also be looking at other sources. That also, one disagree with my statement, but two are also again peer reviewed.

Speaker 3:

And that's also kind of why, you know, we encourage everybody else to do their own research. You know we're tech, while we try not to be one sided when it comes to our podcast, we're only really one source and there are plenty of other sources out there that will agree with us, disagree with us or kind of be a midpoint between both arguments. So you know, that's kind of why we encourage everybody to do their own research and get as many sources as they can, and I guess that's why you know, in school they kind of have us look up multiple different sources for our different things, so that we're not looking at just one singular source.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, when you're basing your entire political argument on a single source from Newsmax, you know you're kind of treading on thin ice there, yeah, so, but yeah, and one of the things is is that when we do research for these podcasts, usually each segment comes from a different source, so we can try to provide different perspectives. It's not the end, all beyond. We're not a scientific organization here. We're not a think tank. Go out and do your own research. Yep, we're going to take our last break here and then, when we come back, we're going to talk about a little bit more about the basis of unconscious bias. We'll be right back.

Speaker 1:

Insights into Entertainment, a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Our husband and wife team of pop culture fanatics are exploring all things, from music and movies to television and fandom. We'll look at the interesting and obscure entertainment news of the week. We'll talk about Theme Park and pop culture news. We'll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions. We'll give you a deep dive into Disney, Star Wars and much more. Look at our video episodes at youtubecom backslash insights into things, our audio episodes at podcastinsightsintoentertainmentcom, or check us out on the web at insightsintothingscom.

Speaker 2:

We are talking unconscious bias today on Insights and the Teens, and we're going to talk about the basis of unconscious bias. A professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin studied the relationship between personal attributes and economics. He confirmed that skinny people make more money than overweight people. Tall men are promoted more often than short men. White women are paid more than black women and much more than Latino women. And men make less money than men with a full head of hair. Yet men in general are paid more than women. That means that a fat, bald female, really, if she's Latino, doesn't get paid out of it.

Speaker 2:

Differently abled and LGBTQ professionals make less than men across the board as well. So why does this type of bias happen?

Speaker 2:

It's unlikely anyone sets out to do this on purpose, yet it although some of it I kind of take exception to that, but it happens consistently enough and on a large enough scale for it to be studied. I mean, bias has been around long enough. That should have been studied for quite some time. If someone has an attribute we find favorable, subconsciously we think that person is good and of course we want to associate with good people. It's this unconscious need to categorize people that leads to the kinds of decisions that favor some and leave others out.

Speaker 3:

According to studies in cognitive science, our brains receive 11 million pieces of information every second and we only process 40 of those details consciously. This makes us more than 99% unconscious.

Speaker 2:

Which makes me sound like we're really stupid.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, really, the unconscious brain is working to minimize how much energy it uses by automating certain predictions and perspectives. This automation allows us to have more energy and awareness in case we need to respond to threats. Our minds are working with what it is exposed to and stores evidence for, which means it has no inherent idea of right, wrong, good, bad, truth or lie, unless we ascribe it or learn it from others, which means that whenever I flub any of these lines, it's only because I'm doing it unconsciously or something like that. This lack of awareness or attention to our perspectives means we don't realize just how biased we are. Ask anyone if they're biased and very few will admit it. You know, it's one of those things that people might even feel insulted by.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

And those who are unaware of just how deep the bias actually runs. So pinpointing bias is hard but not impossible. According to the cognitive bias codex create Cognitive bias codex created, that's why we need to do read-throughs. Then do read-throughs. There are an estimated 180 cognitive biases, and the list is frequently updated. This codex is a useful tool for visually representing all of the known biases that exist to date. You may have heard of the term cognitive bias as a synonym for unconscious bias, but cognitive bias is not a synonym for heuristics.

Speaker 2:

Heuristics are nuanced and the cognitive bias codex organizes biases in a meaningful way. While listing heuristics and biases under the same label, daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, explains the difference. He says heuristics are the shortcuts that humans use to reduce task complexity and judgment and choice, and biases are the assumptions we make based upon those shortcuts. Our assumptions affect our behavior and our behavior affects everyone around us. By understanding that we're all biased, we can make the decision to work together to be more conscious of our thoughts and actions when relating to others.

Speaker 2:

While we can't always stop ourselves in the moment, we can think about our actions to see why we chose a particular person for a task or put a specific individual on a team. We can ask what made us act and think in the way, in that way, towards this person or group, and then, if need be, we can remedy that situation. We can put our eggs or write our eggs Whoa, let's back that one off. That's a big plug today. We can put our egos aside, along with our eggs, over in a basket somewhere.

Speaker 3:

But not all in one.

Speaker 2:

Not all in one right and admit we have made a decision based upon a bias. We can interrupt the biases and acknowledge them, and not only can we address the current situation, we can resolve to not do it again. Over time it's possible to learn to think and behave differently. By using an objective test to measure our bias and by reflecting on our actions, we can change the way in which we're biased. And I guess that's really the moral of the story here is that everybody is unconsciously biased and doesn't realize it usually. But by paying attention to your actions, by being aware of the world around you, by understanding the impact of your actions on others, you can become consciously biased. And if you can become consciously biased, then you can change.

Speaker 3:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

What are your thoughts on that? Do you think that you've had unconscious biases that you've had to overcome in your lifetime so far?

Speaker 3:

I mean, yeah, both in my own unconscious bias and the unconscious bias of those around me, I do tend to gravitate towards those that you know are like me, have similar opinions of me, because I find it hard to talk to people who don't have, you know, similar opinions to me, mainly just because it's just difficult to you know, form a conversation when we consistently disagree on viewpoints.

Speaker 3:

So it can be kind of difficult to do that, and having that bias can occasionally help me to not have to deal with that. But I think it's something that I kind of have to learn to overcome because, you know, not all people that are diff not all people that believe in that, at least when it comes to being political and having different political beliefs, not everybody who has a different political belief to mine is like this heightened stereotype we tend to have of you know separate parties and you know parties that don't agree with us and you know stuff like that. So I feel like it's something I could eventually overcome. It's, again, probably going to take some work because, much like with every bias, I do it unconsciously for the most part, and you know the first step is to make that unconscious bias a conscious bias.

Speaker 2:

So, that is very well put. I've been very fortunate in my life. I grew up in a household that was racially biased and gender biased and religiously biased. My father was a very closed-minded individual and that closed-mindedness was passed down to us and over the years, especially since I've been with mommy, I've been enlightened. I should say I've been very fortunate that mommy has been such a positive influence on me and helped to open my eyes. She's made me a better person in the almost 20 years now that we've been together.

Speaker 2:

A lot of people unfortunately don't have that kind of influence in their lives, which is sad. I think the world would be a better place if there were more mommies around like my wife that can help people understand where some of these biases are and how to correct them. I'd like to think, as a result of that, I'm a better, more enlightened, more understanding person, and I've been very fortunate to have her guidance to get me to that point. Granted, there's a long way for me still to go. I'm far from perfect. You've opened my eyes to a great number of things in the recent years that I had clearly been biased against in the past, and I think that's really the key is having enlightened people, and having a diverse group of people that you're exposed to on a regular basis allows you to discover those biases and helps you to overcome them.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I definitely think that's something I hope to improve on later on, because most of the people most of my friends at least I associate with kind of have all these similar beliefs to mine and I feel that's more or less an unconscious bias on my part and it'd be nice to get to have friends who have differing opinions, where we don't fight over it consistently but we both get different perspectives on each other's lives and can hopefully learn to break our unconscious biases of each other and our beliefs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's boring agreeing with everybody all the time. There's a certain part of me that enjoys that. It's conflict, but it's civilized conflict. It's debate, it's open discussion. It's the types of things that help to expand your mind.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, kind of similar to the silly debates that you and I have.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. You know, it helps you to think of things like. A while back I had run a website and a blog that was very contrary to my personal beliefs, and it was so that I could then look at situations from the opposite side of the spectrum and try to put my shoes and myself in the shoes of the opposing party, and it was educational. It was entertaining in some respects too, but it was one of those things where I found it fascinating to see the reactions at times and see how stubborn and how set in people's ways people could be, and they were reflections of who I was before I went through that little thought experiment. So I think that's all we had for today. We're going to take a quick break, we'll come back and we will get your closing thoughts.

Speaker 2:

Alrighty We'll be right back.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So to everybody out there, I kind of just want to reaffirm the idea that we all have our own biases, whether unconscious or conscious. But everybody has a bias, no matter who you are, and some of those biases aren't necessarily a bad thing. It's kind of just human nature that we have biases in order so that we can determine threats and whatnot. However, some of those biases can go a bit too far and some of them are just incredibly unconscious, to where you're not willing to admit it. And I guess the important thing to note is that it's not a bad thing to admit that you have a bias. The important thing is that you move past that bias once you become aware of it, rather than completely denying it and refusing to change your ways.

Speaker 2:

Okay, sage words, as always.

Speaker 3:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

Before we do go, I do want to once again invite all of our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio and video versions of all the network's podcasts listed as insights into things. You can find audio versions of just this podcast listed as insights into teens, and we're pretty much anywhere you can find a podcast Apple, spotify, google iHeart Radio and so forth. I would also invite you to give us your feedback, email us at comments and insights into thingscom. You can hit us up on Twitter and Insight or X, whatever it's called now. I've refused to call it X, though, because it's such a stupid name. We're at insights underscore things. You can find high res versions of all of our videos on YouTube at youtubecom slash insights into things. We do stream five days a week on twitch at twitchtv slash insights into things, and you can find all those and more links to all those and more on our official website at wwwinsightsintethingscom, and you.

Speaker 3:

And don't forget to check out our other two podcasts insights and entertainment hosted by you and mommy, and insights into tomorrow. Our occasional podcast sometimes comes on, hosted by you and my brother, sam.

Speaker 2:

Well, you have a future in marketing for us. I'll tell you that.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much.

Speaker 2:

That's all Another one of the books.

Speaker 1:

Bye everyone.

Unconscious Bias
Unconscious Bias and Stereotypes
Unconscious Bias and Confirmation Bias
(Cont.) Unconscious Bias and Confirmation Bias
Recognizing and Overcoming Unconscious Bias