In my previous blog post, I mentioned a form of implicit bias training called facial recognition training. I chose to study facial recognition training because not only is this method one of the most interesting, but it has been used previously with children of young ages and law enforcement. Pretty neat, huh?
So, how does it work?
First, to set a baseline for implicit bias, you administer a facial recognition test.A test consists of several racially-ambiguous faces, some displaying positive emotions, some displaying negative emotions.
The subject then has to identify which faces are their race and which are not. If the subject identifies the faces with positive emotions as their race, or if they identify the faces with negative emotions as not their race, you can detect implicit bias.
Next, the actual training part comes in. To reduce implicit bias, you have to create a set of faces that are a different race than the person has bias for. Each face must be given a name, and then the subject can practice identifying each face with its name. This familiarizes the race with the subject, and, therefore, reduces implicit bias.
Being able to use facial recognition training is a super exciting new idea which has still not been used to its full potential. Hopefully in the future, all law enforcement will use implicit bias training methods such as this one. It truly makes a difference in a person’s implicit bias levels, and in the case of police officers, it could save lives.
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