This image of a woman can reveal your unconscious bias. Source: Flinders University Professor Mike Nicholls.
This image of a woman can reveal your unconscious bias. Source: Flinders University Professor Mike Nicholls.

What image do you see?

THIS image of a woman could reveal your unconscious bias.

Researchers found there was a difference between those who saw a young woman wearing a fancy hat, and others who saw an old woman wearing a headscarf.

About 400 people in the United States were shown the famous image "My Wife and My Mother-in-Law" for about one second, then asked what image they saw.

What woman do you see? Source: Flinders University Professor Mike Nicholls.
What woman do you see? Source: Flinders University Professor Mike Nicholls.

"Younger people tended to report seeing a younger woman, while older people reported seeing the older woman," Flinders University Professor Mike Nicholls told news.com.au.

"Even though we try to control our conscious motives, they are still operating at a unconscious level."

He said the finding could point to why things like ageism in workplaces still existed.

Even though the study did not prove that a young person might treat those closer to their age more favourably, Prof Nicolls said it did show they tended to notice them more.

"Whether we're aware of it or not, we are predisposed to favour people in our own group," he said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if an experiment with an image of a man/woman, would result in women tending to see women."

Prof Nicholls believed awareness programs should be developed to help people understand their biases and mix with those of different generations.



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