Helping courts address implicit bias: Resources for education

Everyone, judges and other court professionals included, harbors attitudes and stereotypes that influence how he or she perceives and interacts with the social world. Because these cognitive processes can operate implicitly, or at a level below conscious awareness, they can bias judgment and behavior in ways that go unnoticed by the individual.

To raise awareness about the existence of implicit bias in the court community, the NCSC, with funding from the Open Society Institute, documented the development and implementation of pilot educational programs on the topic of implicit racial bias in three participating states.

Program materials and lessons learned from this project may help to inform future educational and training efforts in improving fairness and cultural competence in the court community.





The following resources were used in the pilot testing states.


"Continuing the Dialogue" Broadcast Series (Webpage)

The Neuroscience and Psychology of Decsionmaking, Part 1: A New Way of Learning (.wmv video)

Broadcast Evaluation (.pdf)

Implicit Association Test (select "I wish to proceed" and click on the Race IAT button to begin)

Counter-Stereotype Test (Webpage)


Agenda (.pdf)

PowerPoint Presentation (.pdf)

Participant Worksheet (.pdf)

Pre-Session Assessment (.pdf)

Post-Session Assessment (.pdf)

Shawn Marsh: The Lens of Implict

North Dakota:

Agenda (.doc)

Implicit Bias pictures (.doc)

Social Cognition (PowerPoint presentation)

Race: The Power of an Illusion (3-part documentary)
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

Shawn Marsh: The Lens of Implict Bias  (.pdf)

Jerry Kang: Primer on Implicit Bias (.pdf)

The Lunch Date  (YouTube short film)


Dr. Shawn Marsh of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges presented a talk on Social Cognition and Decision-Making at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts.

Click on the image to the left to view a video recording of the discussion.