- Unconscious or implicit bias describes associations or attitudes that reflexively alter our perceptions, thereby affecting behaviour, interactions, and decision.
- The decisions are made without conscious thought, engaging system 1. This was useful for evolution to aid flight-or-flight decisions.
- These biases are based on personal experiences, personal views.
- The negative impacts of unconscious bias are apparent when the individual is stressed, as at that point system 1 takes over decision making. Hence it is particularly important to be aware of this in high-stress specialties like obstetrics and gynaecology.
There are many types of unconscious bias. Click the terms on the left to reveal the definitions of 'myside', 'horn' and 'halo' bias.
Why do we need to become aware of unconscious bias?
Unconscious bias impacts your decision-making, which in turn impacts:
- relationships with peers, seniors, trainees
- patient care.