Date: 30 September
Moa Bursell is postdoctoral researcher in sociology. Her research concerns implicit prejudice, ethnic inclusion, exclusion and boundary making in the labor market and in welfare services.
Full title: Is it possible to reduce individual implicit bias in organizational settings? Results from a study of Swedish social assistance officers
Implicit bias reduction is a popular form of antibias training when organizations engage their employees in diversity training. It remains popular, despite limited evidence that it is possible to make real changes to individual implicit bias. The implicit bias reduction field has shown that it is relatively easy to change individual implicit bias over the short term, but also that it is very difficult to change it over the long term.
In addition, previous research relies almost entirely on lab experiments with self-recruited university students. Very little is known about the generalizability of these findings outside of this context. The recommendation to employ these programs should at least in part hinge on whether they work in the circumstances for which they are intended. This study reports results from a near-replication of a previously successful implicit bias reduction program, implemented as an on-the-job-training course at 17 Swedish social assistance units.
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