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Robotics Implicit Bias


About This Course

In our work environment and in everyday live, we are constantly in situations where we take decisions that affect others. Unbiased decision-making is a key asset for many reasons. Ethical, but also from a “business” point of view. In this seminar you will learn the key elements that will allow you to understand what implicit bias are, how they come about, how they affect our action and what we can do to prevent them. The course is organised in three sections. It takes 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours to complete.

I. AVOIDING IMPLICIT BIAS. This section provides essential learnings that help you recognize implicit bias, identify manifestations of implicit bias and apply appropriate actions to overcome bias. Modules comprise: What's the problem? Why should we avoid using stereotypes? How do implicit biases manifest themselves? How to overcome bias? What is Stereotype threat?

II. LEGAL ASPECTS and STATISTICS. This section contains an overview over legal aspects relevant in Switzerland regarding the principles of Equality, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion. You will also get an overview on where we stand with regard to key figures.

III. AVOIDING BIAS IN RECRUITMENT/ FACULTY RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES. The topic on how to avoid implicit bias in recruitment is addressed in two separate modules, one module addressing specifically faculty recruitment procedures.

At the end of this course, you will be able to : Explain how implicit bias come about and how they can affect ones perception, judgement, and decision-making; Identify manifestations of implicit bias in your professional or educational environment; Assess risks of implicit bias in specific settings and procedures, such as recruitment procedures; Apply appropriate measures to mitigate them.


This is a introductory class. No specific prerequisits are required.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast

Marianne Schmid Mast is full professor of Organizational Behavior at HEC at the University of Lausanne.

Her research focuses on social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, power hierarchies, the formation of impressions of others, and the influence of physician communication on patient outcomes. She uses immersive virtual environment technology to investigate interpersonal behavior and communication as well as computer-based automatic sensing to analyze nonverbal behavior.

She is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior and in the Editorial Board of the journal Leadership Quarterly. Marianne Schmid Mast is a former member of the Swiss National Research Council and acted as president of the Swiss Psychological Society. She is a Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) fellow and an American Psychological Association (APA), Division 8 fellow, honoured for her extraordinary, distinctive, and longstanding contributions to the science of personality and social psychology.

In 2018, she has been named one of the 50 most influential living psychologists.

Carine Carvalho

Biography of instructor/staff member #2

Helene Fueger

Helene Fueger holds a Master degree in political sciences and an Executive Master in public administration. Since 2015 she is Equal opportunities delegate at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Helene Fueger has a long-standing experience in equal opportunities in Higher education. Prior to her arrival at EPFL, she was head of the unit for gender equality at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). She is or has been a member of several national and international boards, concerned with Equal opportunities in Higher Education.

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