American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 56


Used by permission.


Implicit bias has been a popular topic in judicial education for well over a decade, and for good reason: evidence from fields such as social and cognitive psychology suggests people can and do make decisions about others via cognitive mechanisms operating outside of their awareness. Because a primary role of a judge is to make decisions impacting others while maintaining objectivity, it is not surprising that implicit bias has blossomed as a topic in judicial education. Although education on implicit bias is often framed in the context of race, it is important to note that there are other implications for justice when considering the range of stereotype domains one can hold about various “other” groups (e.g., gender, body type, age). Ultimately and regardless of the categorical focus, the core feature of implicit bias at issue in this work is that human beings are often not aware of how stereotypes and other cognitive mechanisms are potentially influencing their decisions.