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The Effects of Stereotyping and Impression Formation on Medical Treatment: Weight a Minute

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The current study looked at weight stereotype presence and whether certain types of medical professionals held this bias over others. This study also investigated if there was a relation between medical professionals' self-esteem and the presence of the weight stereotype.

The current study looked at weight stereotype presence and whether certain types of medical professionals held this bias over others. This study also investigated if there was a relation between medical professionals' self-esteem and the presence of the weight stereotype. By having a sample consisting of registered nurses, physician assistants, and medical doctors data was then collected within each group to analyze for any significant differences between the three levels of medical professionals. Eleven participants were guided through participation in the Harvard Implicit Association Test, specifically testing for weight stereotype presence, followed by responses to 50 true/false statements on the Sorensen Self-Esteem Test to measure the self-esteem of each participant. The participants within this study were 11 medical professionals, between the ages of 25 and 59, with 6 women and 5 men. The resulting sample consisted of 6 registered nurses, 3 physician assistants, and 2 medical doctors all currently practicing medicine in the state of Arizona, with the exception of 1 participant who is practicing in Colorado. This study was conducted through Qualtrics, an online database through Arizona State University. Upon completion of the study, 3 different tests were run using the data collected. The first was a between-subjects effect test to determine if there was a difference in stereotype presence among the three levels of medical professionals. The second test was a correlation between stereotype presence and the self-esteem each medical professional displayed. The third was a between-subjects effect test looking at self-esteem differences among the three levels of medical professionals. None of the tests yielded significant results, suggesting that there is no difference in weight stereotype presence or self-esteem among the three groups of medical professionals. The data also suggests that there is no correlation between a medical professionals' self-esteem and weight stereotype presence. Suggestions for future research within this paper have discussed ways to improve the current study in order to create significant results.

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2017-05

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Implicit Racial Bias in Engineering Education

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With the ongoing development of simulation technology, classic barriers to social interactions are beginning to be dismantled. One such exchange is encapsulated within education—instructors can use simulations to make difficult topics more manageable and accessible to students. Within simulations that

With the ongoing development of simulation technology, classic barriers to social interactions are beginning to be dismantled. One such exchange is encapsulated within education—instructors can use simulations to make difficult topics more manageable and accessible to students. Within simulations that include virtual humans, however, there are important factors to consider. Participants playing in virtual environments will act in a way that is consistent with their real-world behaviors—including their implicit biases. The current study seeks to determine the impact of virtual humans’ skin tone on participants’ behaviors when applying engineering concepts to simulated projects. Within a comparable study focused on a medical training simulation, significantly more errors and delays were made when working for the benefit of dark-skinned patients in a virtual context. In the current study, participants were given a choose-your-own-adventure style game in which they constructed simulated bridges for either a light- ordark-skinned community, and the number of errors and time taken for each decision was tracked. Results are expected to be consistent with previous study, indicating a higher number of errors and less time taken for each decision, although these results may be attenuated by a
lack of time pressure and urgency to the given situations. If these expected results hold, there may be implications for both undergraduate engineering curriculum and real-world engineering endeavors.

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2020-05

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Multidimensional approach to implicit bias and the underlying cognitive mechanism

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Social categories such as race and gender are associated by people with certain characteristics (e.g. males are angry), which unconsciously affects how people evaluate and react to a person of specific social categories. This phenomenon, referred to as implicit bias,

Social categories such as race and gender are associated by people with certain characteristics (e.g. males are angry), which unconsciously affects how people evaluate and react to a person of specific social categories. This phenomenon, referred to as implicit bias, has been the interest of many social psychologists. However, the implicit bias research has been focusing on only one social category at a time, despite humans being entities of multiple social categories. The research also neglects the behavioral contexts in which implicit biases are triggered and rely on a broad definition for the locus of the bias regulation mechanism. These limitations raise questions on whether the current bias reduction strategies are effective. The current dissertation sought to address these limitations by introducing an ecologically valid and multidimensional method. In Chapters 1 and 2, the mouse-tracking task was integrated into the implicit association task to examine how implicit biases were moderated in different behavioral contexts. The results demonstrated that the manifestation of implicit biases depended on the behavioral context as well as the distinctive identity created by the combinations of different social categories. Chapter 3 laid groundwork for testing working memory as the processing capacity for the bias regulation mechanism. The result suggested that the hand-motion tracking indices of working memory load could be used to infer the capacity of an individual to suppress the influence of implicit bias. In Chapter 4, the mouse-tracking paradigm was integrated into the Stroop task with implicit associations serving as the Stroop targets. The implicit associations produced various effects including the conflict adaptation effect, like the Stroop targets, which suggested that implicit associations and Stroop stimuli are handled by overlapping cognitive mechanisms. Throughout these efforts, the current dissertation, first, demonstrated that a more ecologically valid and multidimensional approach is required to understand biased behaviors in detail. Furthermore, the current dissertation suggested the cognitive control mechanism as a finer definition for the locus of the bias regulation mechanism, which could be leveraged to offer solutions that are more adaptive and effective in the environment where collaboration and harmony are more important than ever.

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2019