Credit and Blame at Work

Exploring the psychological forces at play while you work.

How Racist Are You?

Unconscious judgments can inadvertently lead to racism at work.

In his speech in Philadelphia yesterday, presidential hopeful Barack Obama discussed many aspects of race and racism in America, considering what has changed in the last 50 years, and mentioning what, in his view, still needs to change. He differentiated between the more overt forms of racism in the past and the more subtle kinds of racism that exist today.

In the contemporary workplace, there is a high degree of subjectivity in terms of hiring, firing, giving promotions, and compensation. Racial biases, along with other stereotypes about gender, age, religion, socioeconomic background, and sexual preference can be important influences on some of the judgments made by managers and employees alike.

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Are you thinking that you're exempt from such prejudices? You may be surprised. To assess the degree and kind of unconscious, implicit associations that may be influencing your perceptions in the workplace, visit Harvard's "Implicit Associations Test"

It's a quick and fun test to take. I will be interested to hear your reactions to your results, so send them in.


Key Sun is a psychologist, social worker, and associate professor of law and justice at Central Washington University. He is the author of Correctional Counseling.more...

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