Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment – Albert Einstein
Human bias could be seen to be a form of ‘cognitive short-cut’ to save the person effort and to save the brain energy. It can be defined as a disposition to think, feel or act in a particular way. Unconscious bias occurs when such dispositions or tendencies are outside our awareness and conscious control. While unconscious bias may sometimes be positive, as in the case of intuition and ‘gut instinct’, the focus of the work we do is on its negative effects.
Unconscious bias pervades human decision making in healthcare settings. Poor clinical decisions can impact on patient safety and cost lives, and poor management decisions can sometimes result in losing good staff and expensive legal proceedings.
We offer a bespoke workshop on unconscious bias, using an interactive format with real-life examples that delegates can discuss and debate. We offer the opportunity to take cognitive bias tests free of charge, with individual feedback to test-takers. One of the bias tests we have developed is one that we believe to be the world’s first unconscious cognitive bias test relating to the perception of whistleblowers. A further unique feature of our workshop is the opportunity for delegates to try out a Virtual Realty unconscious race bias mitigation app.
Two types of workshop are offered, one dealing with unconscious bias in clinical settings, and the other dealing with unconscious bias in management settings. The workshop leaders are Narinder Kapur, visiting Professor of Neuropsychology at University College London, and Peter Jones, managing director of Shirepro, a company which specialises in delivering workshops dealing with bias, equality and diversity.