I’m sure you’ve all seen those images online that can be seen two or more different ways.
Sometimes a quiz is attached that will tell you who you were in a past life or your most significant personality trait based on the image you see first. I’m sure it does say something about us by what we notice first in an image. So what do you see in this image that went viral last week.
This picture of empty bus seats was posted to an anti-immigrant site in Norway by a web prankster and the responses were incredible. Among those in a 23 page list of responses:
“It looks really scary, should be banned.
“You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons.”
“Should not be legal.”
“Islam is and always will be a curse,”
“Get them out of our country – frightening times we are living in,”
“I thought it would be like this in the year 2050, but it is happening NOW,”
I do a lot of work in unconscious bias and this vitriol is not unconscious bias – it’s very conscious bias. But even those of us who consider ourselves open-minded and welcoming are conditioned by our environment, media, and social circles to absorb certain perceptions. And these perceptions can translate into biased actions that we aren’t even aware of. If you’d like to learn more or test whether you’ve absorbed some of these perceptions, visit Project Implicit and take some of their assessments. I’d love to visit with you about what you find out.