Can eye tracking detect implicit bias among people navigating engineering environments?

Kylel Devine Scott, Kamille Green, Brooke Charae Coley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

There is resurging interest in the presence and impact of implicit bias in both formal and informal engineering environments. Implicit bias refers to the unconscious associations and stereotypes an individual ascribes based on affiliation with a particular identity that impacts attitudes, actions, and behaviors. Though individuals may hold egalitarian views, they can still act in ways that reflect an implicit bias that is incongruent with their greater beliefs and/or intentions. While literature and tests on implicit bias exist, to our knowledge, a method to specifically gauge biases that exist in the perceptions and dynamics relating to engineering environments, more directly, does not. This study introduces a novel mixed-methods approach that incorporates biometric testing to gain insight and evidence into the biases that may exist among faculty and students engaging in engineering environments. Specifically, informed by literature on microaggressions and implicit bias, an eye-tracking paradigm is used to draw evidence on existing biases related to sexism, ageism, racism, ableism, and classism. In this study, when prompted, participants are asked to select from a pool of options based on the information presented in a specific scenario. During this selection, the participant's eye movements, specifically their fixation regions and times, are collected to later correlate with their chosen selections. Preliminary findings from this study found individual specific implicit biases to exist. The insights of this work could complement efforts to create awareness of bias for impacting the adoption of attitudes and behaviors more conducive to the cultivation of inclusive environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Apr 14 2019
Event2019 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity, CoNECD 2019 - Crystal City, United States
Duration: Apr 14 2019Apr 22 2019

Conference

Conference2019 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity, CoNECD 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCrystal City
Period4/14/194/22/19

Keywords

  • Engineering
  • Eye-tracking
  • Faculty
  • Graduate
  • Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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