Posted by: rachelyangl | October 21, 2019

Communicating And Listening To Our Brains

October 12thmarked the 21stanniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay 21-year-old University of Wyoming student, whose murder became one of the most notorious anti-gay hate crimes in American history. The high-profile felony has since spawned an activist movement by the youngster’s parents, who founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

In seemingly a blink of an eye, activists around the world have been fighting against prejudice and bias for decades. Till this day, the effort to push for equality continues in tune with the times. The rationale is that everyone should be valued for what they are capable of, and not who they are. For many, the stigma against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex exists partly because of an automatic association with negative attitudes that takes place in the brain, also known as implicit bias. These evaluations happen outside one’s conscious awareness- often are deep social values and beliefs that have embedded within one’s upbringing. 

Unfortunately, the intrapersonal predetermination will affect the way someone perceives messages and in turn behaves- which will attribute to how something appeals to the audience. As communicators, we must understand this cognitive process when trying to make an influence. However, researchers argued there may be a way around implicit bias by identifying vulnerable decision points, a notion that explains situations in which increased disproportionality will tend to occur.

While defending for minorities and discrimination plays a significant role in shaping our future, strategists must identify one’s vulnerability, as well as take into account the effects of stereotypes, prejudice and bias when drafting communication methods. 

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