Implicit Bias: Science and Society

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

The term implicit bias was coined in 1995 to capture the idea that bias, i.e., a deviation from truth or shared values can be implicit, i.e., occur without conscious awareness and/or conscious control. It belongs to an area of scientific psychology named implicit social cognition (ISC), dedicated to exploring the hidden aspects of the mental representation of social groups. Today, 25 years later, the term implicit bias has transcended academic psychology and permeated contemporary culture (set your Google Alert to “implicit bias” to see the daily entries that arrive!) to refer to unintended actions that nevertheless create harm and lead to disparities along the lines of social group membership, e.g., age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, physical attributes, religion, politics, language and culture, geographic region and nationality. The course will provide an introduction to the science of implicit bias: its origin and break from previous ways of thinking about the human mind, basic theoretical concepts, dominant methods, and noteworthy discoveries. In parallel, the course will offer students the opportunity to explore the societal impact of implicit bias in domains such as employment, healthcare, education, law and law enforcement, and the daily task of living. The requirements of the course are geared toward achieving these goals: (a) sharpening analytic and ethical thinking with a focus on the science itself, (b) regular writing and speaking exercises, and (c) creating products of social value such as entries for Wikipedia and teaching modules for outsmartinghumanminds.org.

 

Additional Information:

Faculty: Mahzarin Banaji

School: Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Semester: Full Spring Term
Time: 12:00PM - 2:00PM Monday

PSY 1540