Let's talk about race:
Bias as a Barrier

Journal Entries

About this document


At key moments in the Bodyswaps experience, useful notes are added to the learner’s virtual journal as a memory prompt that they can refer back to, as and when required. 

In VR, learners access their journal by looking at their avatar’s left hand. On other devices, it can be accessed via a ‘burger menu’ in the top left corner of the screen. 

This document collates the journal entries in relation to the individual activities for this course.

Introduction and self-reflection

Bias as a Barrier


Explore how personal bias affects yourself and others


  • Witness how your own thinking is shaped by unconscious bias
  • Explore your own experiences of discrimination
  • Critically examine bias in popular media
  • Identify and challenge your own bias

Origins of bias

Origins of bias

Lazy stereotypes

The damage caused by stereotypes in TV and movies is two-fold: 

  • It dehumanizes minority and racialized groups and strips them of their true culture and individuality
  • It marginalizes them because they can't identify with the person supposedly representing them on the screen

A strategy for detecting and overriding biased thinking

A strategy for detecting and overriding biased thinking

A strategy for identifying and challenging bias

  • Step 1 - STOP
    Was I thinking fast or slow? 

  • Step 2 - SWITCH
    Try to see it from the other person’s perspective

  • Step 3 - CHALLENGE
    Attributes or situation 

  • Step 4 - COUNTER
    Say something that contradicts your bias


  • Were you thinking fast or slow? Fast thinking can help us in a range of situations which require us to think fast in order to act fast and be safe. E.g. we wouldn’t stop to think about running away if a bear is chasing us, we’d just run.
  • Slow thinking, on the other hand, gives us the chance to work out problems, e.g. a math problem. 
  • Fast and slow thinking have evolved to help us keep safe, and to solve complex problems.
  • Fast thinking can mean that we don’t stop to think about potential bias. 
  • By slowing our thinking down, we can ask ourselves if our responses are biased and that gives us a chance to check our bias.

Switch perspective

Try to see it from the marginalized and stereotyped person’s perspective. How would it feel?

Tips for perspective taking

  • Think about the other person’s unique circumstances, experiences, beliefs and culture to see the world through their eyes. 
  • Try to find commonalities with your past experiences to relate to their experience and feelings, even if they are different from what you would feel yourself in that exact situation. 
  • Ask yourself: “What is life like for that person? What might be influencing how they perceive this situation? How can I relate to their experience to begin to understand how they feel?”


  • We often base judgements on another person’s attributes (like their ethnicity) instead of considering the situation and circumstances.
  • By challenging our own judgements, we have the chance to detect and override judgements which on the surface appear to bias against people based on race.


  • Provide counter-stereotypical examples that contradict your bias.

Check your bias

Implicit Association Test

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) created by Project Implicit measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to say out loud. 

It can be used to discover implicit attitudes you didn’t even know you had. 

For example, you may believe women should be equal to men in science, but the IAT could reveal you subconsciously associate men more strongly with science than women.

Implicit Association Test