Abstract

Background

Implicit biases are present in the general population and among professionals in various domains, where they can lead to discrimination. Many interventions are used to reduce implicit bias. However, uncertainties remain as to their effectiveness.

Methods

We conducted a systematic review by searching ERIC, PUBMED and PSYCHINFO for peer-reviewed studies conducted on adults between May 2005 and April 2015, testing interventions designed to reduce implicit bias, with results measured using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) or sufficiently similar methods.

Results

30 articles were identified as eligible. Some techniques, such as engaging with others’ perspective, appear unfruitful, at least in short term implicit bias reduction, while other techniques, such as exposure to counterstereotypical exemplars, are more promising. Robust data is lacking for many of these interventions.

Conclusions

Caution is thus advised when it comes to programs aiming at reducing biases. This does not weaken the case for implementing widespread structural and institutional changes that are multiply justified.

Attribution: FitzGerald et al. BMCPsychology (2019) 7:29

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