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The Leadership Experience 7th Edition

The Leadership Experience (7th Edition)

Book Edition7th Edition
PublisherCengage Learning
Chapter 11, End of Chapter, DISCUSSION QUESTIONS, Exercise 1
Page 352

Do you agree with sociologist William Bielby that people have innate biases and will automatically discriminate if left to their own devices? Discuss.

Here is a tip:

One of the reasons why biases are considered to be innate is that they can be unconsciously performed by an individual.


Biases happen when people view or negatively treat other groups due to opinions formed or learned as a result of their environment. The unconscious bias theory states that people are prone to discriminate against others when they are unaware of their actions.

  • Stereotypes are hasty generalizations of certain groups based on their characteristics. Members of a group are treated based on their stereotype and this leads to discrimination for groups that are viewed poorly.
  • Individuals or organizations unconsciously discriminate when they do not attempt to recognize these mental lapses. Discrimination may happen in the form of preferential treatment for other cultural groups against minorities and groups with a negative bias.

Sample Response

Innate biases happen due to the formed opinion of people towards a particular group, race, or gender. These biases are a result of the conditioning of how people think, which results in discrimination and stereotypes.


The unconscious bias theory states that a lack of awareness may cause people to discriminate involuntarily. Unconscious bias happens due to the lack of awareness and sensitivity of people on how they view or treat other cultural groups, particularly minorities.

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