Teaching About Implicit Prejudices and Stereotypes: A Pedagogical Demonstration

Virgil H. Adams, Thierry Devos, Luis M. Rivera, Heather Smith, Luis A. Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Social psychology instructors from five distinct state universities in California examined the effect of incorporating the implicit association test (IAT) in a teaching module on students’ perceived knowledge of implicit biases and motivation to control prejudice. Students (N = 258) completed a knowledge survey on prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination and a motivation to control prejudice scale before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) a teaching module on implicit and explicit prejudice that included taking the IAT. Results showed that students’ perceived knowledge of implicit biases increased after completing the teaching module. In addition, the more students displayed an implicit bias against African Americans (relative to European Americans), the more they reported mastering course material about implicit biases and the more they indicated being internally motivated to control prejudice (at Time 2). These findings suggest that using the IAT as a teaching tool might be a beneficial learning experience, in particular for individuals who display relatively pronounced implicit biases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-212
Number of pages9
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


  • IAT
  • implicit bias
  • prejudice
  • teaching

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