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“The Fact That the Author Was Male Instead of Female Provided for an Objective Opinion”: Implicit Bias in the Classroom

“The Fact That the Author Was Male Instead of Female Provided for an Objective Opinion”: Implicit Bias in the Classroom
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Author(s): Julia Ferrara Waity (University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA), Jennifer Vanderminden (University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA) and Kristin Robeson (San Diego Mesa College, USA)
Copyright: 2020
Volume: 1
Issue: 3
Pages: 17
Source title: International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (IJITLHE)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Yufeng Qian (Louisiana State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITLHE.2020070103



This paper presents an audit-style experiential learning activity intended to gauge students' perceptions of objectivity based on author gender, encourage students to apply the concept of bias to their own learning, and participate in a research study. In this activity, students were unknowingly randomly assigned the same reading on the gender wage gap with either a “male” or “female” author. Although the differences were not statistically significant, student numerical ratings of objectivity were higher when they believed the author was male. The discussion and reflection assignments demonstrated that this exercise provided students with a unique opportunity to evaluate their own biases, engage in discussion about bias, and apply course materials. Written rationale for ratings supported this perception that male authors were more objective. This activity is useful for students in thinking about and discussing the impact of implicit bias.

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