Unconscious bias videos and discussion prompts

Unconscious bias videos are a great way to start a conversation about bias. I’ve searched for the best videos across the web and summarized them for your reference. (All the videos are just a few minutes long.)

Most of these videos dramatize unconscious bias, I’ve also added a couple towards the end that are more ‘explanations’ of unconscious bias.

I’ve also provided some question prompts to help you get a conversation started.

A quick definition of unconscious bias

Unconscious biases are preferences that you may not be aware that you have, even if you engage in self-reflection.

We all have biases, because a bias is just a preference. And if you have a brain, you have preferences! Not all biases are harmful. You may have a bias (a preference) for horror movies, I might have a bias (a preference) for romance movies. Where’s the harm there?

Biases become harmful when they lead to unfair advantages and disadvantages for groups of people based on preferential attitudes.

Unconscious Bias Videos

I’ve selected 7 of the best short videos.

Gender bias at work: McKinsey video

This McKinsey unconscious bias video does a great job of highlighting gender bias, using a ‘gender switch’ to dramatize the message. Take a look:

Unconscious bias at work in India

This unconscious bias video from Training Sideways looks at biases within the Indian workplace:

It’s a longer video, 6:29mins, and as a result it provides a variety of different scenarios. You can explore these scenarios using the questions towards the end of this article.

Racial bias: a powerful look at the impact on young lives

This is a powerful look at the impact of racial bias on young lives. It finished with the caption: ‘African American and Latino students are expelled at a rate three times greater than Whites.’

Unconscious bias within national culture

This Danish TV2 advert, ‘All that we share’, is an emotional journey featuring different sections of Danish society, what separates them, and ultimately what connects them all. The message is: we live in a time where we quickly put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think?

It’s a great way to start a conversation that looks beyond “what can we see about each other” to “what experiences and emotions connect us”.

You may feel it’s not relevant, coming from Denmark, but it’s powerful!

The impact of privilege on young lives

This video is more focused on addressing people who experience privilege, rather than bias. Consider this the flipside of the unconscious bias videos, it’s more about who benefits from systemic inequality in society.

It’s called ‘The Privileged Race’:

Unconscious bias discussion prompts

These discussion prompts can be used with any of the unconscious bias videos, either for self-reflection or to start a conversation.

Unconscious bias videos, follow-up questions:

  • How did the video make you feel?
  • What insights did you gain from the video?
  • What biases did you see in the video?
  • In your day-to-day life, have you seen behavior from the people around you, that demonstrate these biases? How did it make you feel?
  • Can you see the biases in your own behavior? In what ways? How does this make you feel?

If appropriate, you can then go on to discuss what action should be taken when we see biases.

Two videos that explain unconscious bias

It can also be useful to use videos just as an explanation of unconscious bias.

This first one is simply called ‘What is unconscious bias?’.

In the video they mention different types of unconscious bias. Here’s more on 11 types of unconscious bias.

This video is very quick, it offers an unconscious bias ‘test’:

Unconscious bias videos: in summary

Unconscious bias videos are a great way to explore your own understanding of bias, or to start a conversation.

Select the video that you find most relevant and use the question prompts to get you started.

Dive deeper: learn how unconscious bias leads to micro-inequities at work.

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