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We tested our implicit biases and were surprised at what we learned about ourselves

'How could these racist things happen here?!'
Posted at 7:20 AM, Jan 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 07:20:17-05

CINCINNATI -- When we heard Mason resident Tanisha Agee-Bell mention "implicit bias" on Good Morning Tri-State Wednesday, it got us thinking.

"It's not that I expect us not to make mistakes, but I expect them to handle it better. I hope the training that she receives will allow her to look at her implicit bias," Agee-Bell said of her son's social studies teacher who suggested his classmates would "lynch" him for disrupting class at Mason Middle School.

Combined with the recent furor over Kings High School students' racist basketball jerseys, many WCPO viewers expressed dismay, asking "how could these things happen here?"  

The answer may lie in implicit bias.

Implicit bias is defined as the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner, according to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Last February, the museum launched an interactive exhibit called Open Your Mind: Understanding Implicit Bias, which is designed to help the public in the difficult task of admitting and identifying personal biases.

"Over the last few decades, we've learned things from the cognitive and behavioral sciences that have shown us that what is going on beneath the surface outside of conscious awareness and intent might, at the end of the day, be responsible for driving a lot of problems in society to a degree much deeper than we thought even 10 years ago," said Ryan Wynett, who manages the Freedom Center display.

We decided to test our own implicit bias using a Harvard University-generated test that you can take online here. We were surprised by our results. 

Watch the video above to see what we learned about ourselves.