The thing about hidden biases is that they’re, well, hidden.
They don’t even occur to us. And we don’t realize that we have them, because we all tend to walk around thinking that we don’t have these blind spots, and that we’re observing the world fully and then acting rationally.
Except that our observations are not complete. They’re filtered by what we “know” (in other words, by our contexts and biases and expectations) before they hit our consciousness. It’s already created and presented a particular reality, a limited story about who I or they or the world could be and is.
Therefore, our rationale is, at best, tainted by this incomplete view.
As the expression goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” And our biases go on being hidden.
It takes something to break out of that very efficient and quick engine to pause and get present and ask, “what bias is going on right now?” (Note, not if a bias , but what bias – if we have a brain, we have biases!)
And once we begin to see it/them, once we get present to them, they cease to be hidden. We get into a position of power. In the moment, we can choose to take an action that defies the automatic bias. In the long run, we gain the opportunity to examine them, shape them, and to reduce them. (Note, not eliminate them – again, if we have a brain, we have biases!)
With that we gain both freedom to be as well as agency to align ourselves with our most authentic selves.