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Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Book - 2019
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You don't have to be racist to be biased. Unconscious bias can be at work without our realizing it, and even when we genuinely wish to treat all people equally, ingrained stereotypes can infect our visual perception, attention, memory, and behavior. This has an impact on education, employment, housing, and criminal justice. In Biased, with a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Jennifer Eberhardt offers us insights into the dilemma and a path forward. Eberhardt works extensively as a consultant to law enforcement and as a psychologist at the forefront of this new field. Her research takes place in courtrooms and boardrooms, in prisons, on the street, and in classrooms and coffee shops. She shows us the subtle--and sometimes dramatic--daily repercussions of implicit bias in how teachers grade students, or managers deal with customers. It has an enormous impact on the conduct of criminal justice, from the rapid decisions police officers have to make to sentencing practices in court. Eberhardt's work and her book are both influenced by her own life, and the personal stories she shares emphasize the need for change. She has helped companies that include Airbnb and Nextdoor address bias in their business practices and has led anti-bias initiatives for police departments across the country. Here, she offers practical suggestions for reform and new practices that are useful for organizations as well as individuals. Unblinking about the tragic consequences of prejudice, Eberhardt addresses how racial bias is not the fault of nor restricted to a few "bad apples" but is present at all levels of society in media, education, and business. The good news is that we are not hopelessly doomed by our innate prejudices. In Biased, Eberhardt reminds us that racial bias is a human problem--one all people can play a role in solving.
Publisher: New York :, Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC,, [2019]
ISBN: 9780735224933
Branch Call Number: 303.385 E162b 2019
Characteristics: 340 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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An internationally renowned expert on implicit racial bias breaks down the science behind our prejudices and their influence in nearly all areas of society and culture.

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May 18, 2021

A good, well-thought-out contribution to the conversation we all should be having.

Dec 29, 2020

Hacking Your Mind resource

Highly recommend. Ms. Eberhardt skillfully weaves research with personal testimonies in a way that illuminates how profoundly we are impacted by bias, even when we are unaware that it's at play. She also leads us to understand the urgency of uncovering and addressing implicit bias, no matter how turbulent, messy, and uncertain that process is at times.

I began the book aware that I have implicit biases. I finished this book armed with a deeper understanding of how the brain works. I finished this book with a much clearer picture of how the broad, national picture is intricately connected with our daily thoughts and decisions. I finished this book with a deeper sense of urgency to continue learning and looking for ways to dismantle bias in and around me, no matter how subtle.

I believe Ms. Eberhardt is correct: "And there is hope in the sheer act of reflection. This is where the power lies and how the process starts."

Aug 10, 2020

I am sure her statistics are accurate. I am not sure I believe all the stories.

Mar 04, 2020

I don't doubt that much of what she says is true but this is not really a balanced accounting of bias. She rarely mentions Muslims or Hispanics and she never mentions Native Americans, or any other minorities. Approximately page 264 or so, she briefly mentions anti-semitism. This is a book about bias towards black people. Hence, I find her research to be narrow and lightweight. I think she wants to be a thought-leader more than she wants to be a good social psychologist and I believe that indicates her own bias.

IndyPL_CarriG Dec 09, 2019

Hopefully the new must-read book for social psychology classes, Biased is a clear-eyed and thorough examination of implicit bias in the United States. Most of the book examines race, however there is some information on implicit bias towards gender as well. As a middle-aged, middle-class, educated white woman, I'm aware of my privilege in cursory way. Seeing the numbers is a whole different story.

Dr. Eberhardt has taken on the challenging task of training people in implicit bias - from people who are convinced they are not biased and are offended by her presence, like one particular police department before she wins them over, to people who are eager to make changes to improve their practices, like AirBnB. She shows compassion and understanding toward people who are defensive about their bias while stating the irrefutable facts clearly and accessibly. She tells stories of her own life and her own family - such as when her young son mentioned that a man on the plane with them "looked like Daddy" - he was black but other than that didn’t really look like Eberhardt’s husband - and then stated in complete innocence, "I hope he doesn't rob the plane." When she asked why he said that, since Daddy is a law professor not a thief, he got upset and said he didn't know. She interviews people who were impacted by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally in 2017. She talks about police shootings and why many people of color are reluctant to call or cooperate with the police. She talks to the police about their fear, discomfort, and frustration when they are met with a sea of silence. These conversations, had by a woman with great empathy and a strong understanding of the psychological underpinnings of bias, are like a wrecking ball when it comes to denial and anger. This is a book that the country needs.

A warning for people, some of this book is extremely difficult to read. It talks about terrible things that will make you feel bad. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes upsetting. But they are things we need to think about, talk about, and know. Despite the uptick in racially-motivated hate in the last few years, Eberhardt does give us some room for hope in the future. The immediate firing of Rosanne Barr by ABC after she referred to a black woman as an ape, Starbucks’ dramatic response to close all its stores for a half-day for a nationwide training on implicit bias after the racially-motivated arrest of two young black men at one of their stores, inspire Dr. Eberhardt to believe that the nation is growing less and less tolerant of racism and hatred. Let’s hope we continue on that trend and that we can stop this new growth in hate groups. Everyone in public service, or really anyone who ever has to interact with other humans, should read or listen to this book.

Aug 07, 2019

Much of what our minds consist of, is conditioning. Some find this comforting, some, constricting. If your nature is that of a boa constrictor (in your relations with your fellow humans), then the former is likely to be the case. The immense popularity of eastern religions as a way of liberation can be understood from this point of view. Lately, alas, this popularity has waned. Is this due to the '15 minutes of fame' syndrome, or is there something more fundamental going on underneath our culture, where the earthquakes tend to begin. The perspective of this book is necessarily limited, as it analyzes the branches, rather than the root or trunk of the phenomenon. For many, it seems that is all that is called for. But, let us think deeper, and longer, shall we? Let us not jump to any more conclusions.

Aug 06, 2019

Extremely well-written, clear concise language, and thoroughly documented explanation of bias and how we all suffer from it. The book, however, is preaching to the choir. Those of us who have spent a lifetime trying to overcome our bias will see ourselves. Those of us who think we aren't biased or claim to be "color blind" will find it upsetting. Racists, intentional or otherwise are going to bother reading it at all.
If you read nothing else this year about race, history, politics, or the United States please read the chapter (just 19 pages) of this book called "The Scary Monster."


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