Unconscious or implicit bias is a part of everyday life. All human beings both exhibit implicit bias and (some more than others) are also the victims of it. Due to the way humans have evolved implicit bias will never be something that ceases to exist. Thus, it is important that neuroscience and social science closely study how it works and how to curb the behaviors caused by implicit bias. In the following research EEG (electroencephalography) was used alongside a weapons IAT (Implicit Association Test) to examine specific neural components that may correlate with higher bias scores on the IAT. Specific components N200 and P200 were examined. The results indicated that white and Black faces elicited different mean amplitudes in the N200 waveform. There was also a significant negative correlation between the difference of congruent (Black faces and weapons) and incongruent (white faces and weapons) groups and IAT scores (calculated as the D score). This result indicated that the smaller the difference between block types (congruent and incongruent) the larger the D score (bias). These results were the opposite of original hypothesis. They both support and extend the findings of previous research regarding implicit bias and EEG. Some results of the current study also give rise to new ideas about bias and cognitive control.
Cooper, Hope, "Implicit Bias through the Lens of Electroencephalography" (2020). Behavioral Neuroscience Honors Papers. 9.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.