Centering Race in Mixed and Multi-Method Research on Implicit Bias: A Systematic Review

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International Journal of Multiple Research Methods (IJMRA)




Understanding how we form and maintain implicit racial biases can help identify how to disrupt them. With this goal in mind, mixed and multi-method research approaches offer researchers the ability to combine various methodological approaches to explore the formation, experiences, and impact of implicit racial bias. This article therefore provides a critical descriptive systematic review of empirical mixed and multi-method studies on implicit bias and race. This review is based on the following research questions: (a) What are the theoretical and methodological features among empirical studies on race and implicit bias that use mixed or multi- method approaches? and (b) what are the opportunities for theoretical and/or methodological expansion in this literature? The criteria for inclusion in the review are the use of a multi-method (e.g., qualitative and quantitative) or mixed method (e.g., integrating qualitative and quantitative) approach in an empirical study, implicit racial bias is the main or one of the main concepts being studied, and the work (published or unpublished) was dated 1995- 2019. The studies in this review often had no theoretical framework or one that did not center race. This is noteworthy because race-specific theoretical frameworks can be used to contextualize the study of implicit bias and race in racism, to define race, and to align with the following important features of mixed and multi-method studies: substantiating the use of multiple methods, prioritizing one or more methodological approaches, analyzing and integrating data, and reflecting on the researcher’s own positionality.