Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  What are Your Implicit Biases?

    Posted 05-19-2022 04:06 PM

    Do you know what YOUR biases are and how they affect your thoughts, behaviors and decisions?

    Last week's poll question was about Implicit Bias tests. The poll results are below:
    Poll results for
    Of the 2,308 respondents, 460 have taken an implicit bias test. Have you? If you're not sure what an Implicit Bias test is, here is a definition from the Project Implicit website

    What is implicit bias?

    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.

    If you haven't already, I encourage you to take at least one of the implicit bias tests offered by Project Implicit to become aware of your underlying biases and how they manifest themselves in your daily life. You can take the free tests here (and they're completely confidential and anonymous). 
    Project Implicit webpage listing of implicit bias tests

    If you've taken an implicit bias test:

    1.  Were you surprised by what you learned?

    2.  How has learning about your implicit biases helped (or hurt) you?


    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Community Manager
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: What are Your Implicit Biases?

    Posted 05-21-2022 03:39 PM

     This is a great post. Thank you so much for this. I will take this time and be honest and answer this question. One implicit bias I had formed in my younger days was that all people who are considered " FAT" just sat around and ate junk food and were unhealthy.  That bias changed as I grew older and met a person that society would classify as " FAT" or overweight and we became friends. I soon found out that she did not just sit around and eat junk food and not exercise. During that time with her  I learned that just because a person was in a bigger weight class does not mean they are unhealthy as skinny people can be just as unhealthy. 

     When I was young and naive  I used to think that all homeless people were drug addicts or drunks. As I grew up I learned that not all the things that I thought were right were actually untrue. I learned that some of those people became homeless because of some of unfair and untrue forms of bias that I had formed without knowing all the facts and rushing to judgement. 

    I think it is so easy to form bias based on what society and others think, however it is not easy to think in a non judgemental way when all society teaches us is to judge one another.

    Marissa Reid
    Clinic Director
    LifeLine Animal Project

    Access To Care Specialist
    Clinic Management Specialist

  • 3.  RE: What are Your Implicit Biases?

    Posted 05-23-2022 12:08 PM
    Thanks for sharing this, Marissa. I appreciate you sharing what you've recognized as some of your biases and how some of those myths have been busted for you over the years.

    Your reply reminds me of a TED Talk I watched last week while taking the CARE REDI course. The TED Talk is called "The Danger of a Single Story" by Novelist Chimamanda Adichie.  Throughout the talk, Ms. Adichie shares some of her own biases and biases others had about her as a Nigerian. All of the biases she talks about are based on a single incomplete story similar to how you (and many others, myself included) thought about homeless people as drug addicts and drunks. We've heard that single story played out over and over again in the media which then becomes our "truth"... until we learn more. One of my favorite things she says in the talk is "The single story creates stereotypes. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story." I highly recommend this TED Talk to anyone who hasn't watched it yet!

    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Community Manager
    Maddie's Fund