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Why Antibias Interventions (Need Not) Fail
Perspectives on Psychological Science  (IF11.621),  Pub Date : 2022-05-17, DOI: 10.1177/17456916211057565
Toni Schmader, Tara C. Dennehy, Andrew S. Baron

There is a critical disconnect between scientific knowledge about the nature of bias and how this knowledge gets translated into organizational debiasing efforts. Conceptual confusion around what implicit bias is contributes to misunderstanding. Bridging these gaps is the key to understanding when and why antibias interventions will succeed or fail. Notably, there are multiple distinct pathways to biased behavior, each of which requires different types of interventions. To bridge the gap between public understanding and psychological research, we introduce a visual typology of bias that summarizes the process by which group-relevant cognitions are expressed as biased behavior. Our typology spotlights cognitive, motivational, and situational variables that affect the expression and inhibition of biases while aiming to reduce the ambiguity of what constitutes implicit bias. We also address how norms modulate how biases unfold and are perceived by targets. Using this typology as a framework, we identify theoretically distinct entry points for antibias interventions. A key insight is that changing associations, increasing motivation, raising awareness, and changing norms are distinct goals that require different types of interventions targeting individual, interpersonal, and institutional structures. We close with recommendations for antibias training grounded in the science of prejudice and stereotyping.