1. An implicit bias is a set of attitudes or beliefs regarding a specific group, such as an ethnic group, and age group, or a particular gender. These are not inherently positive or negative associations, but they all tend to be misguided and uninformed. The reason implicit biases are important to understand in regard to health disparities is that having certain biases can create or prolong these biases, due to how they might impact health care. Eliminating implicit biases can help reduce these disparities, resulting in more equitable care for all groups.
2. The IAT I completed was the skin-tone IAT, which included identifying pictures of individuals and then making associations of words that have either a positive or negative connotation. I found the IAT interesting, but I am not certain it identified whether I have any implicit biases of my own, as simply following directions will not reveal any biases. The test seemed to work by identifying any mistakes that would be made.
3. The results did not surprise me too much, but I was also methodical in how I approached responses. I am glad that the test results showed I do not have any significant implicit biases regarding skin tone. The mistakes I made were based on uncertainty whether someone was considered light skinned or dark skinned, as there were a few that could be categorized as either.
4. Actions that I can take to mitigate the potential effects of implicit bias would be to not make assumptions about a particular group, whether this includes ethnicity, religion, gender, or age. For instance, one might have an implicit bias that the elderly are incapable of being active, and therefore might not recommend exercise as part of treatment, even if this is the best recommendation. Therefore, communicating with patients individually is the best way to avoid making decisions based on implicit bias.