Key Definitions

Identity differences are the components of the self (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, class status, educational background, etc.) that result in people being sorted into culturally or institutionally relevant groups.

Race is a social construct that categorizes people in ways to maintain social status and hierarchy.

Ethnicity is a a population group whose members identify with each other on the basis of common nationality or shared cultural traditions.

Explicit bias is the attitudes and beliefs we have about a group of people on a conscious level.

Implicit bias is the brain’s automatic association of stereotypes or attitudes about identity groups, often without conscious awareness.

Identity anxiety is stress response linked to a cross-group interaction. Those in marginalized groups may be worried about experiencing bias, while those in dominant groups may be worried that their actions or words will be perceived as biased. A meaningful form of identity anxiety is racial anxiety in interactions or conversations across lines of race or ethnicity.

Stereotype threat is the underperformance that results from a person being concerned about confirming a negative stereotype about their group .

Identity threat is the fear of loss of power for one’s own identity group.

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