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Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep

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Science  29 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6238, pp. 1013-1015
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa3841
  • Fig. 1 Experimental procedures and results.

    (A) Procedures for counterbias training with sound cues. (B) Implicit bias reduction was found for both counter–racial bias training and counter–gender stereotype training. Bias was measured using the IAT before training (baseline) and after training (prenap). Error bars indicate ±1 SEM adjusted for within-subject comparisons. (C) Procedures for the nap phase of the experiment, when one sound was repeatedly played to participants during SWS, using a low intensity to avoid arousal from sleep. (D) The change in implicit bias from prenap to postnap diverged as a function of cueing condition, with a further reduction only for the cued social bias. (E) The change in implicit bias from prenap to the 1-week delay diverged as a function of cueing condition, with a significant increase only for the uncued social bias. (F) The change in implicit bias from baseline to the 1-week delay diverged as a function of cueing condition, with a significant reduction only for the cued social bias. Significant pairwise differences are indicated: *P < 0.05 or **P ≤ 0.01.

  • Fig. 2 Relation between long-term bias reduction and sleep physiology.

    The quality of sleep after training as indexed by the product of (minutes in SWS) × (minutes in REM sleep), predicted differential bias change, quantified as follows. Given that standardized implicit bias scores were preferentially reduced for the cued relative to uncued condition overall (Fig. 1F), we computed the reduction separately for cued and uncued conditions [(baseline score) – (delayed score) in both cases]. Differential bias change was taken as the cued reduction minus the uncued reduction, such that higher values indicated larger bias reduction over this interval for the cued compared to the uncued bias.

Supplementary Materials

  • Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep

    Xiaoqing Hu, James W. Antony, Jessica D. Creery, Iliana M. Vargas, Galen V. Bodenhausen, Ken A. Paller

    Materials/Methods, Supplementary Text, Tables, Figures, and/or References

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    • Materials and Methods
    • Supplementary Text
    • Figs. S1 to S3
    • Table S1
    • References

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    Sound files S1
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