What is it about?

This paper reviews a large body of research on subconscious prejudice, also known as unconscious bias, implicit bias, or automatic stereotypes, to highlight how subconscious prejudice forms and to explain why it can undermine conscious intent not to discriminate. A model is presented to show how both types of prejudice interact to cause subtle and unintended work discrimination.

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Why is it important?

Reports of workplace discrimination are rising, yet when surveyed reports of conscious prejudice are down. On the surface, it would seem either one party is too sensitive or the other is lying. Instead, we explore how both sides may be correct, subconsciously that is. This paper explains how even people without conscious prejudice can end up discriminating at work when their subconscious prejudice is activated by situational cues.


This paper integrates findings across social psychology and management literates to summarize key findings on the effects of subconscious prejudice at work.

Kayla Sergent
Edgewood College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Prime and Prejudice, Applied Psychology, October 2018, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/apps.12166.
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