Implicit Biases Towards Minority Groups in the UK

Prof Doc Thesis

Grafahrend, H. 2021. Implicit Biases Towards Minority Groups in the UK. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsGrafahrend, H.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Implicit biases are thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and can be difficult to acknowledge and control. Implicit biases have been found to influence behaviour in health and mental healthcare setting and might have a direct impact on the quality of care people are experiencing, especially when they are from a minority group. Trainee Clinical Psychologists (TCPs) are trained to work in a wide range of healthcare settings and to provide direct and indirect clinical work including leadership and service development. Therefore biases that TCPs hold might have far reaching negative implications on service provision and experiences of therapy. So far, limited research into implicit biases held by TCPs has been conducted. This study investigated implicit biases towards age, disability, gender-attitude, sexuality and skin-tone using Implicit Association Tests (IATs). First new stimuli for the categories disability, sexuality and skin-tone were developed and validated. One hundred and five TCPs took part in the main study and their scores were compared with those of a sample of forty-six Non-TCPs. TCPs showed comparable negative implicit biases against the minority groups for age, disability and skin-tone as the Non-TCP sample whilst not showing negative biases on the explicit measures. There was a female preference and a slight positive bias for homosexuality in both samples. The possible implications of TCP holding negative biases for service provision and therapeutic alliances are discussed. Limitation of this study and possible future directions are presented.

KeywordsImplicit Biases; age; disability; gender-attitude; sexuality and skin-tone; Trainee Clinical Psychologists
PublisherUniversity of East London
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Publication dates
Online30 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted06 Oct 2021
Deposited30 Nov 2021
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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