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The bias detective

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Science  27 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6485, pp. 1418-1421
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6485.1418

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Summary

Psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt explores the bias most of us harbor without knowing it. In cleverly designed experiments, she and her Stanford University team have shown how social conditions can interact with the workings of our brain to generate unconscious bias in our responses to other people, especially in the context of race. Such "implicit" bias stems from our brain's tendency to categorize things—a useful function in a world of infinite stimuli, but one that can lead to discrimination and worse, particularly in times of hurry or stress. Eberhardt hasn't shied away from some of the most painful questions in U.S. race relations, such as the role of implicit bias in police shootings. And she has worked with police departments to reduce the influence of bias in their encounters with the public.

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