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2021_11_Unconscious Biases Workshop

What is unconscious bias?


The term bias refers to distortions, inclinations, or predispositions that are held by individuals, or ingrained in systems. Biases are present in every area of life: social interactions (e.g. prejudices), research (e.g. cognitive and statistical biases), institutions, and processes, among other contexts. Our own biases can be conscious to us - meaning that we are aware of them - or unconscious - biases we have absorbed and learned through implicit mechanisms of which we are unaware. They shape and impact how we think, work, and live – exerting a strong, often subconscious, influence on everything we do.

We all face the various consequences of unconscious biases. An individual‘s education and culture frame perception of self and environment. Learning how to recognize and counteract biases is a necessary step towards countering systematic oppression at the individual and institutional scales, and appreciating and prioritizing diversity.

"Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. These attitudes and stereotypes can negatively impact our understanding, actions, and decision-making. The idea that we can hold prejudices we don’t want or believe was quite radical when it was first introduced, and the fact that people may discriminate unintentionally continues to have implications for understanding disparities in so many aspects of society, including but not limited to health care, policing, and education, as well as organizational practices like hiring and promotion." (

Test your own biases here.


A workshop co-organized with the IGA

The representatives of the doctoral students have organized a two day workshop on the topic of unconscious bias, which will be made available to all PhD students of the University of Freiburg starting November 2021 (exact dates will follow soon). Two experienced coaches from the company "Fisch and Friends" will help interested students tackle their own biases, focusing on the key elements of recognizing  unconscious biases across scales (i.e. personal, institutional, systemic).

Interested? Watch the trailer of our workshop!

There will be a German and an English workshop.


Why is diversity important

Diversity comes in many forms, e.g. gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin. Respecting and appreciating what makes us different, has many positive aspects - groups composed of individuals having different backgrounds are more productive and creative - but most likely, it helps to build a harmonious society.

Do we need more diversity? (German video)


More information on diversity and implicit biases