Implicit bias is an unconscious assumption or stereotype that influences our perception of others. Even though you don't realize it, this can lead you to favor or disfavor a certain person, or group of people.
Everyone — even those who feel committed to fairness — has implicit biases, and because these implicit associations are so pervasive, they are difficult to overcome. It's common to hold implicit biases based on:
In fact, there is a growing amount of research on the correlation between practicing meditation and undermining implicit bias. Some research has found that meditation may help people become more aware of their own harmful prejudices, and learn how to act with less judgment and more compassion.
Here's what researchers have to say about how and why meditation can be an effective tool to reduce implicit bias and promote compassion on an interpersonal level.
Research has found that meditation can reduce implicit bias Adam Lueke, PhD, an experimental psychologist based at Ball State University in Indiana, specializes in how meditation practices can actively reduce stereotyping and discrimination. Specifically, Leuke has analyzed mindfulness meditation's effects on reducing implicit bias for race and age.
In one study, published in Psychology of Consciousness in 2016, Leuke and his team found that just 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation reduced the automatic activation of negative associations when white participants were exposed to pictures of Black people.
In the study, white participants listened to a 10-minute mindfulness meditation audio recording, and then completed implicit association tests (IATs). During an IAT, participants categorize words or images — such as a photo of a Black man or white man — as pleasant or unpleasant.
Leuke also designed the study to include measures of trust among the different groups, such as rating how much the participants would trust a Black or white person with their money.
"When interacting with pictures of various white and Black people, mindfulness participants treated both groups about the same in terms of how much they trusted members of different racial groups, whereas control participants tended to trust white people a little more than Black people, on average," Leuke says.
Research has also found that loving kindness meditation, a specific type of meditation that promotes feelings of compassion, can help decrease implicit bias.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 2013, used the IAT to measure implicit biases against Black people and homeless people. The 101 non-Black, non-homeless participants were split up into groups, with one group practicing loving kindness meditation, and another group talking about the principles of loving kindness without actually practicing it.
Overall, the study found that participants enrolled in the six-week loving kindness meditation practice experienced a decrease in their implicit bias towards Black people and homeless people, while the six-week loving kindness discussion group did not experience decreased bias.
A new study reports that regular practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) enables some active duty service members battling post-traumaticstress disorder (PTSD) to reduce, or even eliminate, their use of psychotropic medications and to better control the often-debilitating symptoms of PTSD. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201601/meditation-reduces-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-symptoms
Article By: Jocelyn K. Glei
"A survey of about 2,000 Americans revealed that while 50% of people express gratitude to their immediate family on a daily basis, only 15% of people do so with their colleagues. In fact, the workplace ranked as the very last place where people are regularly inclined to say thank you. (Even mail carriers ranked higher.) This is particularly befuddling because almost all of the survey respondents expressed a strong desire to have their co-workers say “thank you” to them more often."
Read the full article here.
Erica Anderson, Forbes contributer
No matter which year-end set of holidays you celebrate (or none at all), the fact that most people take some time off during this last couple of weeks of December slows the pace of commerce (at least once Christmas is done), and creates an opportunity to reflect on your life.
So, in support of your relaxation and reflection, and your enjoyment of the people and pursuits you love most, here are some wonderful quotes from a wide variety of folks about this holiday season:
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness." - Helen Keller
"This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!" - D.M. Dellinger
"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." - Hamilton Wright Mabie
"Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you. Thinking of you this holiday season!" - T.A. Barron
"As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same." - Donald E. Westlake
From The Huffington Post
PRESENTED BY EBAY
The holiday season is a time for giving. Oftentimes, it’s a gift from the heart that means the most. Inspired by this beautiful notion, we partnered with eBay to share some of the most heartwarming stories from around the country — tales full of generosity and thoughtfulness that truly capture the spirit of the holidays. Enjoy!
A Present From the Police
Nineteen-year-old Jourdan Duncan graduated from high school last spring and took a job working the late shift at Pro-Form Laboratories in Benicia, California, while he saved money for college. Because his job was five miles away from his home and because his car had broken down and he “didn’t want to burden anyone with a ride,” Duncan walked more than two hours each way, every day. This past fall, Corporal Kirk Keffer was on a late-night patrol in an industrial-park area of Benicia when he saw Duncan walking home. It was around midnight, and seeing a teenager in the area was a surprise. He asked Duncan if he was stranded and learned that he was not — that Duncan walked to and from work nearly five hours each day. Keffer offered Duncan a ride home. During their time together, he learned a lot about the teenager, including his dream of becoming a police officer. Inspired by their meeting, Keffer told his colleagues about Duncan and his incredible work ethic. He also told them that he wanted to help Duncan. Keffer’s colleagues wanted to help, too. The police officers chipped in and purchased Duncan a $500, brand-new mountain bike. And after Keffer presented the bicycle to a stunned Duncan outside of his work one day, the two continued their friendship. More recently, the Benicia Police Officers’ Association launched a GoFundMe page for Duncan that has raised more than $35,000 to help him save money for school.
A Pair of Shoes for His Teacher
Hector Montez, age 18, grew up in foster care sharing everything with his “brothers.” “Well, they weren’t my actual brothers,” said Montez, “but that’s what I called the other kids I lived with in foster care. If one of us had something, we’d share with the others. “Growing up, I was a kid who wished for things but didn’t get them. So when I got older, if I could give someone something they wanted, it felt really good,” added Montez, who was adopted by his best friend’s parents when he was a sophomore in high school. That same year, Montez met Thomas Walser, a teacher at his Lubbock, Texas, high school, the school’s football coach, and the man who became a mentor to him. In an offhand remark in class one day when giving an assignment, Walser mentioned how he had wanted a pair of Nike Air Jordans since he was a kid but couldn’t afford them when he was younger. Most students heard and quickly forgot it. But not Montez. The comment stuck with him. More than two years later, Montez worked his first summer job, and he saved money from his paychecks to buy his mentor the Nike shoes “Coach Walser” had always wanted. “You told me sophomore year, this is your favorite shoe,” Montez told his teacher in a video he posted on Twitter that has since gone viral. “It’s good to give back to the man who’s always been by my side.”
by PAVITHRA MOHAN
If ever there was a year to give back, this is it. As 2016 comes to a close, so many communities the world over have found themselves increasingly marginalized and disenfranchised. Idle slacktivisim won't cut it. Here are a few ways you can put your money where your tweets are:
1. International Rescue Committee: You could, of course, donate to the IRC the usual way. But a more meaningful contribution might be to give a rescue gift. For a little over $50, you could cover the costs of a year of schooling for a girl in Afghanistan or pay for four temporary shelters to help house families in refugee camps.
2. DonorsChoose: As a crowdfunding platform dedicated to education, DonorsChoose lets public school teachers across the U.S. raise money for classroom supplies and other student needs. Choose from thousands of classroom projects and help one—or a few—come to fruition.
If we can agree on one thing, it’s that this holiday season is especially stressful. This year it’s not just about the crush of shopping, decorating, cooking and traveling, but the whirl of emotions about getting together with friends and family, some of whom may disagree with you on matters more weighty than whose holiday sweater is ugliest. It may be the year to spike the eggnog.
Better yet, it may be the year to try meditation.
We spoke to Tara Brach, a psychologist, teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C., about how mindfulness and meditation can help you cope with this special brand of holiday stress.
by Brad Stulberg
A 2016 report produced by the consulting group Deloitte found that one of the most pressing concerns for employers is the “overwhelmed employee.” Deloitte’s research shows that workers check their cellphones nearly 50 times per day, and rarely, if ever, do they take breaks. In fact, the vast majority of Americans work not only through lunch, but through nights and weekends, too.
Meditative Movement with Embodied Workplace