CALLING FOUL: It's often said that sports referees and umpires are doing a good job if fans don't notice their presence. In a sport like basketball, that rarely happens. Foul calls often upset fans, who often disagree, loudly, with the officials. The idea that referees are biased is often a suspicion held by fans. It probably doesn't surprise fans that this study in particular found some unconscious bias among referees. However, the results of the study may also trigger referees to compensate in an effort to be more objective.
ANOTHER TYPE OF UNCONSCIOUS BIAS: Researchers reported that judo competitors wearing blue uniforms at the 2004 Olympics had won more contests than their foes donning white. Their hypothesis was that blue uniforms were somehow more intimidating. When the researchers reexamined their data, they found that higher ranked competitors tended to be asked to wear blue more often, so the bias may not actually exist. In 2008 a different research group found that Taekwondo competitors wearing red were awarded more points than those in blue. Their experiment digitally altered video to reverse the colors of the athletes as a way to randomize the subjects' responses.