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Core Knowledge Section 6: Unconscious bias

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Core Knowledge Section 6: Unconscious bias


An Introduction to Unconscious Bias
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  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Religion or belief, or someone's lack of religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation (actual or perceived)
  • Disability
  • Clothing, hairstyle, whether someone has piercings or tattoos
  • Body language, accent, how someone speaks
  • Personality, interests
  • Family/ friends
  • Whether people work or not, the jobs they do, their level of seniority
  • Where people live/ the type of accomodation they live in
What might trigger our biases?


All that we share
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Types of Unconscious Bias

Confirmation Bias Looking to confirm our own opinions and pre-existing ideas

Halo Effect Projecting positive qualities onto people without actually knowing them

Perception Bias Stereotypes and assumptions about different groups

Affinity Bias Feeling a connection to those similar to us


  • Recruiting the best person for the job
  • Offering development opportunities to certain people
  • Engaging in certain activities e.g., social events
  • Joining certain groups
  • Connecting with, or inviting suggestions from, people who are not ‘like me’
  • Being objective when assessing work/performance
  • Seeking feedback from certain people
  • Allowing our children to engage in certain activities
  • Moving beyond stereotypes
  • Imagining new/different ways of doing things
  • Thinking divergently
What might our biases stop us from doing?


  • Accept we all have biases
  • Question your rationale for making a particular decision
  • Focus on countering stereotypes and avoid making assumptions
  • Talk to unfamiliar people, people from different backgrounds and with different experiences to yours
  • Really listen to, and value, the perspectives of others
  • Seek information from a range of different sources
  • Use context to explain a situation
Strategies to reduce the impact of bias

Why do I think this?

Who have I spoken to?

What do others think?

Have I made any assumptions?

Could I get more information?

What is the context?




YUFE Alliance




Core Knowledge Section 6: Unconscious bias

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