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This report, released in the fall of 2014, details the social science that can help us understand the day-to-day dynamics of race and how to alter the circumstances that too often culminate in tragedy.
Unconscious biases against members of stigmatised groups have been studied by psychologists for decades, but only recently have philosophers explored this phenomenon. This project brings researchers from both fields together with policy professionals to work through the implications.
Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity works to deepen understanding of the causes of—and solutions to—racial and ethnic disparities worldwide and to bring about a society that is fair and just for all people. Especially of interest: State Of The Science: Implicit Bias Review 2015 found at https://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015-kirwan-implicit-bias.pdf
Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.
Back in 1995, Claude Steele published a study that showed that negative stereotypes could have a detrimental effect on students' academic performance. But the big surprise was that he could make that effect disappear with just a few simple changes in language. We were completely enamoured with this research when we first heard about it, but in the current roil of replications and self-examination in the field of social psychology, we have to wonder whether we can still cling to the hopes of our earlier selves, or if we might have to grow up just a little bit.
Recently researchers have debated the relevance of stereotype threat to the workplace. Critics have argued that stereotype threat is not relevant in high stakes testing such as in personnel selection. We and others argue that stereotype threat is highly relevant in personnel selection, but our review focused on underexplored areas including effects of stereotype threat beyond test performance and the application of brief, low-cost interventions in the workplace.
lthough much of the research on stereotype threat has focused on how stereotype threat affects test performance, its original conception described a broader and more general phenomenon. In this article we review stereotype threat research, taking a broader view on threat beyond the realm of test taking. (There is no full text access to this article; however, Interlibrary Loan is available.)
Exposing participants to gender-stereotypic TV commercials designed to elicit the female stereotype, the present research explored whether vulnerability to stereotype threat could persuade women to avoid leadership roles in favor of nonthreatening subordinate roles. Study 1 confirmed that exposure to the stereotypic commercials undermined women's aspirations on a subsequent leadership task. Study 2 established that varying the identity safety of the leadership task moderated whether activation of the female stereotype mediated the effect of the commercials on women's aspirations. Creating an identity-safe environment eliminated vulnerability to stereotype threat despite exposure to threatening situational cues that primed stigmatized social identities and their corresponding stereotypes.
In two experiments, we found that the performance-inhibiting consequences of stereotype threat were eliminated when the threat was subtly reframed as a challenge. In Experiment 1, Black school children in North Carolina completed a 10-item mathematics test. Participants who reported their race before taking the test performed more poorly than participants who reported their race after completing the test, unless the test was framed as a challenge. Experiment 2 replicated this effect with undergraduates at a prestigious university. When reminded that they graduated from high schools that were poorly represented at the university, they performed more poorly than their peers on a math test. However, when the test was reframed as a challenge, this threat had no effect on their performance. These findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical applications for both educational and athletic training.
Claude Steele’s stereotype threat hypothesis posits that when there are negative stereotypes about the intellectual capacity of certain (stigmatised) groups, members of that group suffer aversive consequences; group members who are most strongly identified with the stigmatised domain in question (e.g., intellectual or academic ability) are those most likely to suffer the effects of stereotype threat. In education, it is widely held that personal investment in schooling should lead to more positive outcomes. However, highly-invested individuals will most keenly experience the negative effects of stigma. Thus those most at risk for withdrawing from school among students of colour (who suffer a stigma of intellectual inferiority) could be those most invested in schooling.
In Blindspot, the authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot.
The book’s “good people” are those of us who strive to align our behavior with our intentions. The aim of Blindspot is to explain the science in plain enough language to help well-intentioned people achieve that alignment. By gaining awareness, we can adapt beliefs and behavior and “outsmart the machine” in our heads so we can be fairer to those around us. Venturing into this book is an invitation to understand our own minds.