Many people are subject to discrimination, sexism and racism in various forms. They are all phenomena that most agree should be regarded as problems, not just for the individual but for society as a whole. We need to both avoid and deal with the consequences. These include exclusion, which leads to segregation and inequality.
Studying the phenomena is difficult since there are no clear definitions of concepts such as gender, race, and ethnicity. Is it good to define people using these concepts even when the aim is to gain more knowledge by measuring the prevalence of discrimination, sexism, and racism?
Another problem is posed by our unconscious biases. We all have beliefs about the world and other people that we are not fully aware of, so called implicit cognition. These beliefs can result in prejudices and stereotypes that make us assess and treat people differently, without our actual knowledge. How are these beliefs created and can they be changed? In what way are we responsible for the consequences of these unconscious beliefs? The research conducted at the institute in this field is precisely about definitions of implicit cognition and how we can curb its consequences. We study, for example, recruitment services, the allocation of grants, and the distribution of health care and education.