Purdue University Graduate School
Noland MS 2021.pdf (1.38 MB)

Examining the Intersection between Personal and Systemic Bias for Bias Reduction

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posted on 2021-11-22, 14:45 authored by Elisabeth S NolandElisabeth S Noland
In a preregistered study, we investigated whether two different procedures increased people’s recognition and motivation to self-regulate personal bias and also recognition and motivation to combat systemic bias. Non-Black undergraduates (N = 467) were randomly assigned to either a IAT procedure (i.e., took a racial IAT, received fixed feedback indicating racial bias, and received an explanation for why people may hold implicit biases), a discrimination experiences procedure (i.e., read about Black people’s discrimination experiences across various institutional contexts), or a control procedure (i.e., rated their preferences for common consumer products). Then, participants completed measures assessing recognition of and motivation to combat personal and systemic bias. Among average IMS participants, results indicated that the IAT procedure significantly increased recognition of personal racial bias, compared to the control procedure. The discrimination experiences procedure significantly increased motivation to combat systemic bias, support for policies aimed at addressing inequality, and motivation to self-regulate personal bias, compared to both the control and IAT procedures. We also found that the IAT heightened negative self-directed affect especially among higher IMS participants, which in turn was associated with increased acknowledgement of and motivation to combat not only personal but also systemic bias. Finally, among all participants, the discrimination experiences procedure heightened negative other-directed affect, which in turn was associated with increased recognition of and motivation to combat systemic bias. Although additional research is needed, these initial results may suggest that personal bias interventions influence personal bias outcomes but do not similarly influence systemic bias outcomes. In contrast, systemic bias interventions may be more likely to influence awareness of and motivation to combat both personal and systemic bias. These results pave the way for future investigation into the nature of crossover effects between personal and systemic bias procedures.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Margo J. Monteith

Additional Committee Member 2

Erin P. Hennes

Additional Committee Member 3

Kipling D. Williams