Bias and Discrimination Training


  1. Stereotype - an oversimplified image or statement applied to a whole group of people without regard to the individual.

  2. Bias - a predisposition to see events, people or items in a positive or negative way. Bias is an attitude or belief.

  3. Prejudice - an opinion or attitude about a group or its individual members.

  4. Discrimination - behavior that treats people unequally because of their group memberships. Discriminatory behavior, ranging from slights to hate crimes, often begins with negative stereotypes and prejudices.

  5. Halo Effect - The tendency to assign generally positive or generally negative traits to a person after observing one specific positive or negative trait, respectively

Unconscious Bias

  • We might feel our decisions are rational, but they may be based on our emotions and unconscious ideas
  • We collect facts to justify them
  • Pre-established filters cause us to see, hear and interpret things differently than others
  • Everyone is impacted by unconscious bias

Impact of Unconscious Bias

  • Keeping yourself in check
  • Bias can influence the outcome of the investigation/hearing
    • You may look for facts that support your preconceived notions about the case.
    • Can cause some groups to get preferential treatment.
    • May lead to disparate treatment in the investigatory or sanctioning process.

Putting it All Together

Keep in mind:

  • You’re never going to know exactly what happened
  • Preponderance standard
  • Goal is to determine whose version of events is more likely accurate than the others’
  • Process is more important than outcome
  • Good process = Fair outcome