Immersive Virtual Reality Applied to Change Unconscious Bias
A Maryland based Attorney, Bridgette Davis, has launched a groundbreaking platform which uses immersive virtual reality, among other things, to change unconscious bias.Unconscious bias is one of the biggest problems in today’s society. The media is replete with reports of fatal incidences that were a direct result of implicit racial biases. Davis’ platform, Implicit Bias, is the first of its kind in the world where users can access a compendium of games, exercises and virtually reality simulations all designed to change unconscious bias.
Chief among the platform’s offerings is a recently released basic module for companies that want simple online training. The 90-minute training features interactive de-biasing exercises and realistic scenarios in a modern platform that are suitable for just about any work environment.
Virtual reality is very popular in entertainment arenas; however, it has been used to treat a number of mental health issues including anxiety disorders. But there has been a growing interest in how the method can impact unconscious bias. In fact, a study published in the April 2018 issue of Journal of Law and BioSciences demonstrated the potential of virtual reality to address implicit racial bias in the courtroom setting. Stanford University has also launched a project that uses immersive virtual reality to create a virtual shoes experience through which a participant can viscerally embody an avatar who encounters various forms of racism.
It’s not every day that an attorney builds a platform that could radically unconscious racial biases. But Implicit Bias has been a labor of love for Davis who spent a majority of her career defending immigrants from deportation. Her solution is informed by 20 years of research on unconscious bias. Moreover, she has also spent four years developing the implicit program with a lot of help from psychology researchers, computer engineers, game developers and virtual reality pioneers.
Commenting on her journey in developing this groundbreaking program, Davis said: “I read every study I could get my hands on and the different exercises to reduce unconscious bias. I isolated a few that seemed effective on a number of tests. I believed I could reproduce them in a way people could practice. I knew if I could create fun and engaging ways to do these exercises, people would want to practice them. I believe if people practice the exercises, over time, their bias will be reduced. Their fear will be reduced. We may see a day when people who look like me won’t need to be trained on how to appear less threatening in order to save our own lives.”
While traditional diversity and inclusion training teaches participants to suppress and disguise biases, Implicit Bias’ programed immersive simulations, games and exercises motivate learners to reduce their biases, privately and without judgment. The module is SCORM compliant, fully customizable for just about any environment and employer who want to impact diversity and inclusion in workplace training.
For further information about Implicit Bias or to engage some of the company’s programs visit Implicit Solution at changebias.com.