Advertisement: open in new window
Use this self-assessment to discover whether you are prone to prejudge or are fantastically fair. For each section, answer the statements with one of the four responses below, giving yourself the points indicated. Add together your section scores and scroll down to find what they mean…
STRONGLY AGREE (4 points)AGREE (3 points)DISAGREE (2 points)STRONGLY DISAGREE (1 point)
Vulnerability The first section examines how you behave generally and how intuitive or instinctive you are in judging people in everyday situations.
- I often find that I do not do what I know I should do.- I am an impulsive person.- I have difficulty holding things like new telephone numbers, postcodes or short lists in my head.- I don't like being in situations where what has to be done is uncertain or vague.- I tend to be spontaneous and I avoid lots of planning.- I will often follow my instinctive or 'gut' response to people.Beliefs Beliefs underpin bias – this section finds out how they affect your behaviour.
- The action of government is not needed to protect overweight people from unfairness.- I believe the world is a competitive place where some groups will always dominate others.- Overweight people have made themselves this way by over eating.- Overweight people have overcome any barriers they have faced, they don't need any more help.- People who appear intolerant towards overweight people have invariably had a bad experience, which makes them like this.- The law should not get involved in protecting overweight people by making discrimination against them illegal.- I see some prejudgment of this group as justified because of how they behave, or have behaved in the past.- I feel that prejudgments about overweight people are inevitable.ControlThe final section tests how you manage your biases at work.
- I am very careful about what I say in work settings for fear of being accused of bias.- I am very conscious of when people are watching me and behave differently when nobody is watching me.
The results are in…
VulnerabilityScores between 6 and 12 are low riskBeing less impulsive and intuitive makes you less likely to allow unconscious biases to impact behaviour; your natural bias defences have time to operate. Scores between 13 and 19 are medium riskYou are vulnerable to bias, vigilance is needed – work on your tendency to be impulsive. If you make rapid decisions about people, don't like novel situations and prefer to do just one thing at a time, you may be vulnerable to biases becoming behaviour.Scores between 20 and 24 are high riskYou are vulnerable to bias as you are impulsive, spontaneous and dislike ambiguous situations. Knowing the strength of your biases, the situations where they are most active (rushing, stressed, frustrated or angry) can help you manage better.
BeliefsScores between 8 and 16 are low riskYour bias beliefs are weak. Beliefs underpin bias and prevent change but attempts to better manage your bias should be successful. scores between 17 and 25 are medium riskThe arguments made against the overweight people can undermine attempts to manage our biases. Such arguments may prevent you changing.Scores between 26 and 32 are high riskStrong beliefs can make managing biases difficult as you are not motivated to change – until you hear some alternative arguments.
ControlScores between 2 and 4 are low riskYour desire to control bias is low – and this is a good thing. If you consciously try not to be bias you can, in fact, trigger bias and make it harder to control.
Scores between 5 and 6 are medium riskYou have a moderate desire to control bias, which can mean you engage less with people around whom you have anxiety. This can damage working relationships.
Scores between 7 and 8 are high riskYour desire to control bias is strong. Exerting effort to control biases is a double-edged sword. It may prevent incident but it can reduce the closeness of working relationships as we withdraw.
Concerned about your score? Then bear in mind these bias-busting tips:1) Make a point of looking out for examples that contradict your personal bias. Then call those examples to mind whenever faced with a people decision.
2) Take your time. Don’t cram people decisions into half an hour at the end of the day, or you’ll default to “the usual suspects”.
3) Be a nosey manager. Ask people who are different to you (as well as those who are not) about themselves and share stuff about yourself.
4) Don’t make assumptions. A woman with children may want an overseas assignment and have arrangements in place that allow it. A man can be reluctant because of his childcare commitments.5) Relax. When you stress about your biases, they are more likely to slip out. Take the simple measures outlined above and trust that your better, fairer self will shine through.
Read the full length feature 'You're biased' in PM's newly relaunched magazine.And join the debate on Twitter (@peoplemgt #bias #relaunchPM #selftest #HR) and in PM's LinkedIn group.
Hmm I am afraid I agree with some of the previous comments that this survey seems quite flawed, especially the section on Beliefs.<br/><br/>I do see the world as a competitive place where some groups will always dominate others. This absolutely does not make me biased towards any particular group. It is a fact of life and one that we need to recognise and then mitigate against so that the impact of this bias on certain groups is minimised are people not disadvantaged as a result.<br/><br/>Overweight people HAVE generally made themselves this way by over eating. A small minority may be overweight for other reasons but for the majority, including me, this will be true! I have no problem accepting this fact. What I do have a problem with is people then judging me or others because I am overweight, a different issue entirely.<br/><br/>I am sorry to say the cause and effect here is really a bit suspect.
I think the analysis of this is wrong and I believe the questions / statements are phrased in a way that needs to be reviewed.
Have your say... Two points:<br/>1) I am not certain about the vocabulary used in this 'instrument'. Everyone is biased, it is a condition of life. That does not mean, however, that we have to be 'prejudiced'. It seems to me that this 'instrument' is more orientatated to identifying prejudice than bias. However there does seem to be a lack of logic in the descriptions for some of the rankings and I should like to see the supporting research. <br/>2) If, for example, I believe that a person is fat because of their eating and exercise regime (too much of one and not enough of the other)that does not, per se, make me either biased or prejudiced about employing them. It will, however, give me cause to question their beliefs / self-control and vulnerability in relation to the role that they are applying for.
I tend to agree with Ken. Whilst I am alert to my own prejudice this does not mean I avoid doing or saying things as my approach is one of tolerance and inclusion in my daily interactions. The test is over-simplified in many ways and places too much positive emphasis on behaviour and attitudes that are constrained. There is an important place for gut reactions, emotional intelligence and spontaneity of response. Without it, we wouldn't have evolved into wearing business suits as we'd have died out like the dinosaurs. <br/>If we spend all our times suppressing our natural responses we won't actually deal with any bias or prejudice we may have so that we can become better as individuals as well as a society.
What a load of nonsense! Anyone who is self aware will know their biases but this doesn't have to impact on their relationships or how they behave around others as we adapt our behaviours to our roles and situations, some more so than others.
Have your say...I must disagree with the analysis of scoring on the self-test concerning bias. The questions on control indicate that those who are careful of what they say or what they do are at a low risk of being biased. Some of us do not have to be careful what we say or do because we have fully internalised the principles of equality and diversity.
Interesting - however in considering the "beliefs" questions I do feel that a more qualitative stance went through most peoples minds and considered the different encounters they have had and gone with a different person or expereince in considering and weighing up their self-assessment. <br/><br/>Surveys will always have that effect I guess but this is none the less interesting.