Fair Play Resources

Fair Play is based on principles drawn from research and other published works. Some of the key arguments for its approach are below, along with other papers, if you are interested in learning more about these topics.


Although most people have personal values that oppose prejudice, we all grow up in a culture replete with stereotypes and biased representations of members of minority groups. These stereotypes are learned at a young age, and create automatic bias that can affect our behavior, even when our conscious values oppose bias (Devine, 1989).


Becoming aware of our potential to behave in unintentionally biased ways is the first step to overcoming these implicit biases. If we are aware that we may have unintentionally activated bias, we can be mindful of situations in which this bias can occur, and make sure we behave in ways that are consistent with our personal values that oppose prejudice (Carnes et al., 2012, 2015; Devine et al., 2012).


Members of stigmatized groups frequently report microaggressions — commonplace daily indignities that are often unintentional, but nevertheless have negative effects on those targeted by them (Sue et al., 2007). Even if the perpetrator of a microaggression has no ill intentions, the effect on the target can be devastating, especially given that these microaggressions are so common, and they add up, leading to increased anxiety and even depression (Cox et al., 2012).


Using Fair Play as a learning tool provides the opportunity to see the graduate school journey through the eyes of a Black student, our Fair Play Workshop highlights many of the obstacles that sometimes prevent minorities from excelling in post-graduate education. The workshop increases awareness about different sorts of microaggressions and teaches techniques for overcoming them within oneself and addressing them in others. This workshop can help us all in our goals to reduce unintentional biases within ourselves and promote excellence in people of all backgrounds.



To read more about Fair Play and other evidence-based workshops and bias interventions:

Carnes, M., Devine, P. G., Isaac, C., Manwell, L. B., Ford, C. E., Byars-Winston, A., & … Sheridan, J. (2012). Promoting institutional change through bias literacy. Journal Of Diversity In Higher Education, 5(2), 63-77. doi:10.1037/a0028128


Carnes, M., Devine, P. G., Manwell, L. B., Byars-Winston, A., Fine, E., Ford, C. E., & … Sheridan, J. (2015). The effect of an intervention to break the gender bias habit for faculty at one institution: A cluster randomized, controlled trial. Academic Medicine, 90(2), 221-230. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000552


Devine, P. G., Forscher, P. S., Austin, A. J., & Cox, W. L. (2012). Long-term reduction in implicit race bias: A prejudice habit-breaking intervention. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(6), 1267-1278. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2012.06.003


Gutierrez, B., Kaatz, A. Chu, S., Ramirez, D., Samson-Samuel, C., & Carnes, M., (2014). Fair Play: A video game designed to reduce implicit bias through active perspective taking. Games for Health Journal,  3(6), 371-378. doi:10.1089/g4h.2013.0071.


Isaac, C., Lee, B., & Carnes, M. (2009). Interventions that affect gender bias in hiring: a systematic review. Academic Medicine84(10), 1440-1446. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181b6ba00



For more on how video games can be used to help learning:

Gee, J.P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (Rev. ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.



To learn more about implicit biases, and about how awareness can help people behave consistently with their values:

Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology56(1), 5-18. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.56.1.5


Dovidio, J. F., Kawakami, K., & Gaertner, S. L. (2002). Implicit and explicit prejudice and interracial interaction. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology82(1), 62-68. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.82.1.62


McConnell, A. R., & Leibold, J. M. (2001). Relations among the Implicit Association Test, discriminatory behavior, and explicit measures of racial attitudes. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology37(5), 435-442. doi:10.1006/jesp.2000.1470


Plant, E. A., & Devine, P. G. (2009). The active control of prejudice: Unpacking the intentions guiding control efforts. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology96(3), 640-652. doi:10.1037/a0012960



To learn more about the forms unintentional bias can take:

Biernat, M., & Kobrynowicz, D. (1997). Gender- and race-based standards of competence: Lower minimum standards but higher ability standards for devalued groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,72(3), 544-557. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.72.3.544


Cox, W. T. L., Abramson, L. Y., Devine, P. G., & Hollon, S. D. (2012). Stereotypes, prejudice, and depression: The integrated perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(5), 427-449. doi:10.1177/1745691612455204


Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review,109(3), 573-598. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.109.3.573.


Galinsky, A. D., & Moskowitz, G. B. (2000). Perspective-taking: Decreasing stereotype expression, stereotype accessibility, and in-group favoritism. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology78(4), 708-724. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.78.4.708


Heilman, M. E., Wallen, A. S., Fuchs, D., & Tamkins, M. M. (2004). Penalties for Success: Reactions to Women Who Succeed at Male Gender-Typed Tasks. Journal Of Applied Psychology89(3), 416-427. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.89.3.416


Hugenberg, K., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2003). Facing prejudice: Implicit prejudice and the perception of facial threat. Psychological Science14(6), 640-643. doi:10.1046/j.0956-7976.2003.psci_1478.x.


Kaatz, A., Magua, W., Zimmerman, D. R., & Carnes, M. (2015). A quantitative linguistic analysis of National Institutes of Health R01 application critiques from investigators at one institution. Academic Medicine90(1), 69-75. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000442.


Koenig, A. M., Eagly, A. H., Mitchell, A. A., & Ristikari, T. (2011). Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-analysis of three research paradigms. Psychological Bulletin137(4), 616-642. doi:10.1037/a0023557


Ley, T. J., & Hamilton, B. H. (2008). The gender gap in NIH grant applications. Science322(5907), 1472-1474. doi: 10.1126/science.1165878


Moss-Racusin, C. A., Dovidio, J. F., Brescoll, V. L., Graham, M. J., & Handelsman, J. (2012). Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. PNAS Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America109(41), 16474-16479. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211286109


Plaut, V. C., Thomas, K. M., & Goren, M. J. (2009). Is multiculturalism or color blindness better for minorities?. Psychological Science20(4), 444-446. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02318.x


Uhlmann, E. L., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). ‘I think it, therefore it’s true’: Effects of self-perceived objectivity on hiring discrimination. Organizational Behavior And Human Decision Processes104(2), 207-223. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2007.07.001



To Learn More About the Specific Types of Bias Covered in the Game:

Attributional Rationalization: Group stereotypes may lead to assumptions that people from underrepresented groups are less competent than their majority peers. As a result, they may not receive credit for their accomplishments, which are often incorrectly attributed to others or to factors other than their efforts (e.g., luck).


Biernat, M., & Sesko, A. K. (2013). Evaluating the contributions of members of mixed-sex work teams: Race and gender matter. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology49(3), 471-476. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2013.01.008


Greenhaus, J. H., & Parasuraman, S. (1993). Job performance attributions and career advancement prospects: An examination of gender and race effects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 55(2), 273-297. doi:10.1006/obhd.1993.1034


Heilman, M. E., & Haynes, M. C. (2005). No Credit Where Credit Is Due: Attributional Rationalization of Women’s Success in Male-Female Teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(5), 905-916. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.90.5.905


Heilman, M. E., & Herlihy, J. M. (1984). Affirmative action, negative reaction? Some moderating conditions. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 33(2), 204-213. doi:10.1016/0030-5073(84)90021-7


Color-Blind Racial Attitudes: Color-blind racial attitudes reflect the belief that discrimination no longer exists. Though based on the positive premise that we should all be treated equally, a color-blind approach discounts the experiences of members of minority groups and can backfire to promote bias.


Correll, J., Park, B., & Smith, J. A. (2008). Colorblind and multicultural prejudice reduction strategies in high-conflict situations. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 11(4), 471-491. doi:10.1177/1368430208095401


Markus, H. R., Steele, C. M., & Steele, D. M. (2000). Colorblindness as a barrier to inclusion: Assimilation and nonimmigrant minorities. Daedalus, 233-259.


Morrison, K. R., Plaut, V. C., & Ybarra, O. (2010). Predicting whether multiculturalism positively or negatively influences white Americans’ intergroup attitudes: The role of ethnic identification. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin36(12), 1648-1661. doi:10.1177/0146167210386118


Plaut, V. C., Thomas, K. M., & Goren, M. J. (2009). Is multiculturalism or color blindness better for minorities?. Psychological Science20(4), 444-446. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02318.x


Richeson, J. A., & Nussbaum, R. J. (2004). The impact of multiculturalism versus color-blindness on racial bias. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology40(3), 417-423. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2003.09.002


Competency Proving: To counter common assumptions about their presumed incompetence, members of minority groups frequently and repeatedly have to demonstrate that they are indeed qualified, capable, and/or competent.


Biernat, M., & Kobrynowicz, D. (1997). Gender- and race-based standards of competence: Lower minimum standards but higher ability standards for devalued groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,72(3), 544-557. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.72.3.544


Cheryan, S., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2000). When positive stereotypes threaten intellectual performance: The psychological hazards of ‘model minority’ status. Psychological Science11(5), 399-402. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00277


Hodson, G., Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (2002). Processes in racial discrimination: Differential weighting of conflicting information. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin28(4), 460-471. doi:10.1177/0146167202287004


Vescio, T. K., & Biernat, M. (1999). When stereotype-based expectancies impair performance: The effect of prejudice, race, and target quality on judgments and perceiver performance. European Journal of Social Psychology29(7), 961-969. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-0992(199911)29:7<961::AID-EJSP977>3.0.CO;2-4


Waldman, D. A., & Avolio, B. J. (1991). Race effects in performance evaluations: Controlling for ability, education, and experience. Journal of Applied Psychology76(6), 897-901. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.76.6.897


Failure to Differentiate: Members of a particular minority group may sometimes be mistaken for one another by a person of a different group. All groups share this unintentional recognition bias, but research suggests the effect is most pronounced for White individuals when viewing racial and ethnic minorities.


Bernstein, M. J., Young, S. G., & Hugenberg, K. (2007). The cross-category effect: Mere social categorization is sufficient to elicit an own-group bias in face recognition. Psychological Science18(8), 706-712. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01964.x


Hugenberg, K., Miller, J., & Claypool, H. M. (2007). Categorization and individuation in the cross-race recognition deficit: Toward a solution to an insidious problem. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology43(2), 334-340. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2006.02.010


Tanaka, J. W., Kiefer, M., & Bukach, C. M. (2004). A holistic account of the own-race effect in face recognition: Evidence from a cross-cultural study. Cognition93(1), B1-B9. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2003.09.011


Impression Management: People from historically low status or underrepresented groups must often pay more conscious attention to how they behave (e.g., a Black student may consciously modulate his/her tone of voice or volume of speech to prevent activating the racial stereotype of being angry or aggressive) or how they dress in order to reinforce their professional role. A casual appearance may elicit prevailing negative images of their group.


Abrams, L., & Trusty, J. (2004). African Americans’ Racial Identity and Socially Desirable Responding: An Empirical Model. Journal of Counseling and Development82(3), 365-374. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2004.tb00322.x


Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Doubleday.


Turnley, W. H., & Bolino, M. C. (2001). Achieving desired images while avoiding undesired images: Exploring the role of self-monitoring in impression management. Journal of Applied Psychology86(2), 351-360. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.2.351


von Hippel, W., von Hippel, C., Conway, L., Preacher, K. J., Schooler, J. W., & Radvansky, G. A. (2005). Coping with stereotype threat: Denial as an impression management strategy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology89(1), 22-35. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.89.1.22


Racial Microaggressions: Microaggressions are brief and subtle comments, behaviors, or environmental cues that intentionally or unintentionally communicate hostile, derogatory, or unwelcoming messages toward members of underrepresented groups. When accumulated, these seemingly minor messages lead to harmful isolation and alienation. There are three types of microaggressions: microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations.


Boysen, G. A., & Vogel, D. L. (2009). Bias in the classroom: Types, frequencies, and responses. Teaching of Psychology36(1), 12-17. doi:10.1080/00986280802529038


Cabrera, A. F., & Nora, A. (1999). Campus racial climate and the adjustment of students to college. Journal of Higher Education70(2), 134-160.


Constantine, M. G., & Sue, D. W. (2007). Perceptions of racial microaggressions among black supervisees in cross-racial dyads. Journal of Counseling Psychology54(2), 142-153. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.54.2.142


McCabe, J. (2009). Racial and gender microaggressions on a predominantly-white campus: Experiences of black, latina/o and white undergraduates. Race, Gender and Class, 133-151.


Smith, W. A., Allen, W. R., & Danley, L. L. (2007). ‘Assume the position…You fit the description’: Psychosocial experiences and racial battle fatigue among African American male college students. American Behavioral Scientist51(4), 551-578. doi:10.1177/0002764207307742


Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life: Race, gender, and sexual orientation. Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.


Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions and marginality: Manifestation, dynamics, and impact. Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.


Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., & Holder, A. B. (2008). Racial microaggressions in the life experience of Black Americans. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice39(3), 329-336. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.39.3.329


Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Nadal, K. L., & Torino, G. C. (2008). Racial microaggressions and the power to define reality. American Psychologist63(4), 277-279. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.4.277


Sue, D. W., Lin, A. I., Torino, G. C., Capodilupo, C. M., & Rivera, D. P. (2009). Racial microaggressions and difficult dialogues on race in the classroom. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology15(2), 183-190. doi:10.1037/a0014191


Sue, D.W, Torino, G. C., Capodilupo, C. M., Rivera, D. P., & Lin, A. I. (2009). How white faculty perceive and react to difficult dialogues on race: Implications for education and training. The Counseling Psychologist,37(8), 1090-1115. doi:10.1177/0011000009340443


Torres, L., Driscoll, M. W., & Burrow, A. L. (2010). Racial microaggressions and psychological functioning among highly achieving African-Americans: A mixed-methods approach. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology,29(10), 1074-1099. doi:10.1521/jscp.2010.29.10.1074


Shifting Standards of Judgment: The presumed incompetence of members of underrepresented groups causes well-qualified underrepresented individuals to be judged as highly competent when compared to members of their group. But, they are held to even higher standards and require greater proof of competence than comparable members of the majority group.


Biernat, M., Collins, E. C., Katzarska-Miller, I., & Thompson, E. R. (2009). Race-based shifting standards and racial discrimination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin35(1), 16-28. doi:10.1177/0146167208325195


Biernat, M., Fuegen, K., & Kobrynowicz, D. (2010). Shifting standards and the inference of incompetence: Effects of formal and informal evaluation tools. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin36(7), 855-868. doi:10.1177/0146167210369483


Biernat, M., & Kobrynowicz, D. (1997). Gender- and race-based standards of competence: Lower minimum standards but higher ability standards for devalued groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,72(3), 544-557. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.72.3.544


Biernat, M., & Manis, M. (1994). Shifting standards and stereotype-based judgments. Journal of Personality And Social Psychology66(1), 5-20. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.66.1.5


Gushue, G. V. (2004). Race, Color-Blind Racial Attitudes, and Judgments About Mental Health: A Shifting Standards Perspective. Journal of Counseling Psychology51(4), 398-407. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.51.4.398


Kobrynowicz, D., & Biernat, M. (1997). Decoding subjective evaluations: How stereotypes provide shifting standards. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology33(6), 579-601. doi:10.1006/jesp.1997.1338


Thompson, M., & Sekaquaptewa, D. (2002). When being different is detrimental: Solo status and the performance of women and racial minorities. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy2(1), 183-203. doi:10.1111/j.1530-2415.2002.00037.x


Status Leveling: Based on stereotypes about the lower social standing of minority groups, status leveling occurs when a person from an underrepresented group is assumed to belong to a  lower social category or position


Kanter, R. M. (1977). Some effects of proportions on group life: Skewed sex ratios and responses to token women. American Journal of Sociology, 965-990.


Smith, E. M. (1985). Ethnic minorities: Life stress, social support, and mental health issues. The Counseling Psychologist13(4), 537-579. doi:10.1177/0011000085134002


Stereotype Threat: Stereotype threat occurs when awareness of negative stereotypes about one’s own group induces stress and anxiety about confirming the stereotype. Situations that consciously or unconsciously trigger stereotype threat can lead members of minority groups to underperform relative to their ability.


Aronson, J., Fried, C. B., & Good, C. (2002). Reducing the effects of stereotype threat on African American college students by shaping theories of intelligence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology38(2), 113-125. doi:10.1006/jesp.2001.1491


Aronson, J., Quinn, D. M., & Spencer, S. J. (1998). Stereotype threat and the academic underperformance of minorities and women. In J. K. Swim, C. Stangor, J. K. Swim, C. Stangor (Eds.) , Prejudice: The target’s perspective (pp. 83-103). San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press.


Brown, R. P., & Pinel, E. C. (2003). Stigma on my mind: Individual differences in the experience of stereotype threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology39(6), 626-633. doi:10.1016/S0022-1031(03)00039-8


Croizet, J., Després, G., Gauzins, M., Huguet, P., Leyens, J., & Méot, A. (2004). Stereotype Threat Undermines Intellectual Performance by Triggering a Disruptive Mental Load. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,30(6), 721-731. doi:10.1177/0146167204263961


Gonzales, P. M., Blanton, H., & Williams, K. J. (2002). The effects of stereotype threat and double-minority status on the test performance of Latino women. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin28(5), 659-670. doi:10.1177/0146167202288010


Shapiro, J. R., & Neuberg, S. L. (2007). From stereotype threat to stereotype threats: Implications of a multi-threat framework for causes, moderators, mediators, consequences, and interventions. Personality and Social Psychology Review11(2), 107-130. doi:10.1177/1088868306294790


Steele, C. M. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist52(6), 613-629. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.52.6.613


Steele, C. M., & Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology69(5), 797. Doi: /10.1037/0022-3514.69.5.797


Taylor, E., & Antony, J. S. (2000). Stereotype threat reduction and wise schooling: Towards the successful socialization of African American doctoral students in education. Journal of Negro Education, 184-198. doi:  10.2307/2696231


Tokenism: Tokenism is treating members of minority groups as representative of their entire group rather than as individuals, especially when they are a numeric minority or the only person from that group present (solo status).


Craig, K. M., & Feasel, K. E. (1998). Do solo arrangements lead to attributions of tokenism? Perceptions of selection criteria and task assignments to race and gender solos. Journal of Applied Social Psychology28(19), 1810-1836. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1998.tb01347.x


Gay, G. (2004). Navigating marginality en route to the professoriate: Graduate students of color learning and living in academia. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education17(2), 265-288. doi:10.1080/09518390310001653907


Laws, J. L. (1975). The psychology of tokenism: An analysis. Sex roles1(1), 1-67.


Moradi, B., & Neimeyer, G. J. (2005). Diversity in the Ivory White Tower: A Longitudinal Look at Faculty Race/Ethnicity in Counseling Psychology Academic Training Programs. The Counseling Psychologist33(5), 655-675. doi:10.1177/0011000005277823