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Why So Few? Unconscious Bias I

1 Jul 2015, 12:11 UTC
Why So Few? Unconscious Bias I
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The 2010 report entitled, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), finds that bias, often unconscious, continues to limit women’s progress in scientific and engineering fields. Research by Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, a former AAUW fellow, and her colleagues at Harvard University shows that even individuals who consciously reject negative stereotypes about women in science often still believe that science is better suited to men than women at an unconscious level. These unconscious beliefs or implicit biases may be more powerful than explicitly held beliefs and values simply because we are not aware of them.Dr. Banaji is a co-developer of the implicit association test (IAT) which is basically a test that measures how we associate different concepts to determine attitudes about different groups. For example the gender-science implicit association test measures the degree to which people associate math and arts with male and female. There are two rounds of categorization. In one round participants hit one key any time a word representing either male or arts is shown on the computer screen. And they hit a different key any time a word representing either female or science is shown. In ...

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