Book Reviews

How Biased Are We, Really?

A new book offers a tour of the modern study of race and racism.

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Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Viking, 352 pages, $28

A famous song from Avenue Q, the celebrated Broadway puppet musical, nicely sums up what we've been told about racism for the last two decades or so: "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist."

This notion, which escaped from the confines of academic social psychology and other fields in the 1990s, has dominated the national debate about racism ever since. When it comes to psychology's treatment of the subject, that's largely because of the runaway popularity of the implicit association test (IAT), a computerized quiz that supposedly reveals your level of unconscious bias against marginalized groups. It also reflects a broader infatuation with "social priming" research, which is centered on the idea that human behavior can be powerfully influenced by subtle cues, even ones we aren't consciously aware that our mind has processed.

Social priming hit its stride at John Bargh's New York University lab in the late 1990s (he's now at Yale), while the IAT was introduced in 1998 by Anthony Greenwald of the University of Washington and Mahzarin Banaji, presently the chair of Harvard's psychology department. The early years of the 21st century were very good for both: Social-priming researchers published some sexy, surprising findings, and the IAT quickly established itself as the way for sophisticated people to talk about race in America.

Implicit bias tells a compelling and straightforward story about why racially discriminatory outcomes in America persist: Many people think they're racial egalitarians, but deep down they're not. And their implicit bias manifests itself in countless ways, helping to reinforce America's racial hierarchy by infecting everything from police conduct to real estate agents' treatment of potential homeowners.

There is ample empirical evidence that implicit bias exists. Plus, you would expect it to exist, theoretically speaking—the human brain evolved to filter out the universe's cacophony of information by quickly and often sloppily carving things up into categories, and it often then jumps to conclusions based on those categories. But there are many unanswered questions about what percentage of the discriminatory-outcome "pie" can be attributed to implicit bias. Many of the other potential culprits—ossified segregation patterns in housing and schooling, for example—can be explained entirely (or almost entirely) without any reference to implicit bias.

Making things even more complicated, the study of implicit bias has hit some serious roadblocks lately. The IAT, upon further review, doesn't do a good job of predicting behavior, which was the main reason for its original appeal. (To be clear, that's a separate question from whether implicit bias actually exists.) More broadly, the replication crisis presently rocking psychology—in which attempts to rerun various classic experiments are failing left and right, suggesting the initial results may have been false positives—has hit social priming particularly hard.

Onto this rather fraught landscape steps the Stanford psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt, a 2014 MacArthur "Genius Grant" winner for her work on racial bias. In Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, Eberhardt offers a tour of the modern study of race and racism. The book mixes summaries of empirical findings, reflections from her own life and work, and interviews with those who are, in one way or another, on the front line of American race relations, from a black police officer observing the effects of bigotry from within a department to Charlottesville counterprotesters trying to figure out how best to respond to explicit prejudice.

At its best, Biased unblinkingly explains the sheer complexity of solving tangled race-related problems in the United States. Many of its most insightful and useful parts don't even come from social psychology. Eberhardt correctly highlights, for example, that the bail and plea-bargaining system is a disaster for those without money, who are disproportionately people of color. "Being behind bars for months awaiting trial can unravel a life" for someone without the means to get out on bail. That has the effect of coercing the poor into accepting plea deals on lesser charges, which in turn can "saddle them with a criminal conviction that has lifelong consequences, limiting where they can live, what jobs they can perform, their ability to vote, and their eligibility for college student loans." And those convictions often bring some prison time anyway: "Black defendants are more likely than whites, Asians, or Latinos to be offered plea deals that require prison time, particularly for drug-related crimes. Blacks are also more likely to rely on the free public defender system, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage." Simply hiring a private attorney, she explains, increases by about half the probability of defendants having the "primary charge against them reduced."

Eberhardt also presents some difficult-to-refute findings about the role of implicit bias in the real world, including famous studies in which identical résumés are sent out with white- and black-sounding names (with the white ones getting far more callbacks) and another famous experiment in which a screen shielding performers' identities during auditions led to more gender parity in previously male-dominated orchestra hiring. The results of these tight, elegant experiments suggest that implicit bias is at least part of the equation. And in some cases they offer clear partial solutions, such as shielding certain identifying information about job applicants and focusing more on tests of ability to perform the tasks required by a position.

But parts of Biased reflect forms of error and overreach that are presently rampant across social psychology. Much as John Bargh's 2017 social-priming book Before You Know It didn't even grapple with the existence of the replication crisis, for example, Eberhardt is simply too credulous about certain shaky-seeming social-priming claims. A neophyte reader wouldn't come away with the sense that there had been any real debate over the IAT, let alone that its founders admitted in 2015 that it's too statistically noisy to diagnose test takers at the individual level. Instead, she describes it as "more sensitive [than a survey] and designed to measure associations we don't even know we have."

Social psychology also has a habit of overextrapolating from rather thin experimental results, and Eberhardt occasionally falls victim to this in Biased. The most telling example comes when she describes an experiment where participants watched scenes from TV shows such as CSI and Grey's Anatomy in which "characters [like] doctors, police officers, and scientists" had been edited out. Participants unfamiliar with the shows were then asked to rate the likability of the edited-out characters based on how the (still-visible) characters around them acted toward them, and based on transcripts of the show's dialogue. Participants consistently "perceived the unseen black characters in these popular shows to be less liked and treated less positively than the unseen white ones," she writes. The researchers further reported a correlation between exposure to the clips and high IAT scores. From this, Eberhardt extrapolates that "just as bias leaks out between the words of scripted dialogue, it seeps out of all of us in our everyday lives, in ways that are difficult to name and evaluate."

The idea is that even when black characters are explicitly presented in a positive light, they can still trigger and spread implicit bias. But if you look at the study itself, it's a real stretch to see how it could offer any evidence for such an alarming claim. For one thing, "favorable nonverbal response"—the sense that the other characters' body language, gestures, and so on indicated positive feelings about the edited-out character—was the only category of six in which a statistically significant difference was noted between the treatment of black and white characters. And that difference was small (just 0.2 points on a six-point scale, or about a 3 percent difference in the perceived nonverbal treatment of fictional characters) and barely significant at that. When it came to perceptions of attractiveness, sociability, kindness, intelligence, and favorable verbal responses, no statistically significant differences were detected. Does one-for-six indicate an important finding, or is it just the inevitable result, statistically speaking, of testing a lot of different stuff?

The study also correlates real-life exposure to the (unedited) shows with high IAT scores—a strange finding when you think about it. We're buffeted with huge amounts of information every day. Why would a single show we see maybe once a week be correlated meaningfully with implicit bias? It gets even more questionable when you consider that exposure to clips in another study appeared to lead to immediate increases in anti-black racism as measured by the IAT. So the scores are both jumping around in response to recent stimuli and correlated, in a longer-term way, with occasional exposure to those same stimuli?

Social psychology is only going to right its ship if social psychologists stare the problem straight in the face and are willing to discuss it openly. As informative and engaging as Biased is, when it comes to its treatment of its own discipline, it seems to suffer from a bit of—well, you know.

NEXT: Antifa Mob Viciously Assaults Journalist Andy Ngo at Portland Rally

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  1. “Does one-for-six indicate an important finding, or is it just the inevitable result, statistically speaking, of testing a lot of different stuff?”

    Only a non-gamer would have to ask this question.

    1. Bet many times that a 20 would show up on the 20-sided.

    2. Statistical significance is falling out of vogue. See the March article in Nature (since I can’t post links).

    3. i spent a Sunday listening to a bunch of white guys on Harleys,using the N word. Even my Trump loving friend agreed it was too much. Why do guys who likely know only blacks from work, where i presume they get along just finem think it grand to use the N word in their private lives?

      i don’t challenge them but i do try to get at the reason for their abhorrent use of the word, and its largely due to grievances they have with work or wife, and they simply blame the whole thing on the black community. Back at work they talk to their black collogues making no illusion to the N word. None of them , and i have talked to multitudes , ever had a negative encounter with an actual African-American, be it by the way of crime or work place encounters.

      college educated men i know who use the N word seem to be acting out of sophomoric frat-ism because the college guy don’t know any blacks except the occasional doctor or tradesman.

      what is fascinating and gives me hope is that millennials are very much better integrated. You often see mixed groups of young people.

      my generation resorts to stereotypes and tropes left over from haters and racists of a generation ago and simply do not have enough interactions with the black community to bother to modify their language. When a vile bile spewing N word user is in the presence of blacks its always ‘ heh bro” . Their racsist behavior isn’t even sincere, its convient.

      I definately have seen more use of the N word under Trump than Obama.

      1. “Why do guys who likely know only blacks from work, where i presume they get along just fine think it grand to use the N word in their private lives?’

        Because they are working on the ignorant but understandable premise that anything that gets the Progressive Left riled up can’t be all bad?

        “I definately have seen more use of the N word under Trump than Obama.”

        1) I doubt it. 2) How much ‘Get Whitey’ have you heard since 2016?

  2. “Eberhardt correctly highlights, for example, that the bail and plea-bargaining system is a disaster for those without money, who are disproportionately people of color.”

    If this injustice disproportionately impacted white people, that wouldn’t make it okay. If some people think so, then there’s your implicit bias right there. If the drug war is a nightmare of injustice, the fact that some people find it unacceptable or even more unacceptable because of the race of its victims is evidence of their own bias.

    What explains that bias?

    It seems to me that we’re dealing with something like the “uncanny valley”, in racism, where people become increasingly sympathetic to something the more it’s like us, right up until some point, after which we become increasingly disgusted by it the more it becomes like us. Not only does that theory suggest an explanation for why wealthy whites see blacks as foreign and exotic, it also suggests an explanation for why they hold blue collar caucasians in contempt.

    1. But if the primary issue is economic status, then (facetiously) so what? Most of us know it sucks to be poor. To say unfairness comes from poverty, and blacks are differentially poor, therefore unfairness comes from blackness is lazy logic at best.

      Show me how differences among racial groups vary normalized for economic status (and education, geography, etc.) and then we can talk about bias.

      1. I don’t see any reason to dispute the existence of racism, but I think the argument here is that the bail and plea bargaining system is either bad or especially bad because the outcome is racist. They’re not even saying that the motivation of the actors is necessarily racist–apart from both the outcome and people’s willingness to tolerate an outcome that disproportionately impacts black people.

        That’s why I pointed out that people who only care about injustice if it disproportionately impacts black people are exposing their own biases. What is it that makes them not really care about injustices perpetrated against poor white people ? Caring about injustices because of the race of the people suffering them isn’t a bias free norm. If that’s your control group, your control group is biased.

        People care about some things more than others. I’ve worked dog rescue in the past. I’ve been known to try to persuade them to take an older dog home–because it’s more likely to be destroyed. If we tried to use the government to cure people of their bias for cute puppies, they’d resent the hell out of it. It might have the opposite of the intended effect.

        1. Damn, dude – destroyed?
          Of all the possible terms or euphemisms – euthanized, put down, killed, executed, etc – destroyed seems like the worst possible choice.
          How was that the word you people chose?

          1. That’s actually my Laurel, Md/Del Mar, where the Surf meets the Turf, roots. “Destroyed” the way I used it comes from horse racing. The horse had to be destroyed.

        2. what you have said in essence that the bail and plea bargaining system is racist because of all the injustices creating a disproportionately poor black community. What could be the possible result of redlining on black wealth? We know it to be catastrophic. . What you overlook is that the people who work in criminal justice see the black community as more suspect than whites , thus needing more draconian treatment.

          when someone says, “yeah look at the prisons, their half minority”, I always ask, who makes up the other half?

          1. “What you have said in essence that the bail and plea bargaining system is racist because of all the injustices creating a disproportionately poor black community.”

            Actually, what I wrote is that if the bail and plea bargaining system is fundamentally unjust, it’s already unjust regardless of whether it’s racist.

            1. your right. however I will re-iterate there is no question that the bail system is biased because it is predominately administered by white people. what is more, if your in the crim/jus industry you will see and an exceptional amount of criminals. and given likely the segregated world they live in, especially church on sunday, they are more likely to stereotype all blacks as criminal.

              I made a comment elsewhere that I recognize my own bias to myself all the time, but I notice since TV adverts show a lot more blacks as middle class consumers and aspirants and not crooks on a crime drama, I find myself feeling quite a bit less separate and distinct.

              1. “however I will re-iterate there is no question that the bail system is biased because it is predominately administered by white people.”

                Not only is there a question about that, there’s also a question about why that observation matters.

                That the bail and plea-bargaining system is unjust is more than enough to condemn it completely. No further qualification is necessary. The extra ornamentation you’re putting on it makes it harder to eliminate. If you’re the one adding the ornamentation, you might as well be fighting for the status quo.

          2. So, what if some in the “black community” look at themselves as being more suspect? Is that biased/racist?

  3. “The results of these tight, elegant experiments suggest that implicit bias is at least part of the equation. And in some cases they offer clear partial solutions, such as shielding certain identifying information about job applicants and focusing more on tests of ability to perform the tasks required by a position.”

    If the general public is racist, implicitly or otherwise, to the point that they’ll actually discriminate against companies to avoid interacting with black staff, then is it unreasonable for companies to respond to that? Trying to make companies ignore market forces is probably futile. The ultimate solution is changing people’s hearts–maybe we need to stop dancing around the underlying assumption here, which is that the government has a role to play in changing people’s hearts.

    In China, they send millions of people to reeducation camps in order to rid them of their religious beliefs. It’s yet to be seen whether their efforts will be successful. When we’re talking about the government ridding people of their implicit bias in race, as described above, we’re talking about the government ridding them of something much deeper than any particular religious belief. And please note, the question isn’t just how far we’re willing to go. It’s also whether this is an appropriate effort for the government to undertake–regardless of whether the outcome is successful.

    Can using the government to control people’s minds down to the level of their implicit biases ever be justified by the pursuit of some higher purpose? Color me skeptical. You can’t truly have respect for the right of other people to think stupid and horrible thoughts if you answer that question in the affirmative, and don’t expect the rest of us not to notice the injustice. Fighting racism doesn’t absolve you from the injustices you perpetrate in the effort, and you cannot use the government to change people’s hearts without perpetrating injustice–because people have a right to think what they want.

    We should be looking to people like Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King–who found effective ways to change people’s hearts without using the coercive power of government.

    1. I completely agree that the government should not try to control people’s minds.

      But I would also distinguish between education and “mind control”.

      And I would also submit that there is a lot of room between “trying to control people’s minds” and “take no position whatsoever”.

      1. Education is a tool of the Communists to make people gay. And taking a position on an issue requires acknowledgement that that issue exist.

      2. “But I would also distinguish between education and “mind control”

        Whatever distinction you’re making breaks down completely when we’re talking about using the government to cure people’s “implicit bias”. Did you not read the article? Curing people of “implicit bias” is mind control. Why pretend otherwise? The progressive playbook may claim that calling things by different names is persuasive, but that doesn’t work on rational people grounded in principle.

        Why would calling it a different name change anything about it?Using the government to cure people of implicit bias is still mind control–even if you call it a different name. If you believe otherwise, go to the nearest mirror, look yourself in the eye, realize why you’re wrong, give yourself an uppercut, and promise yourself to never fall prey to that stupid shit again.

        1. Jeff is so stupid and asocial that when asked why he can’t be minimally informed about a subject, he linked to a website.

          He linked to a website and demanded that everyone abide by his preference as it was stated by said website.

          Yes, that is correct. Jeff is so developmentally disabled that he requires everyone he speaks with to abide by formal debate rules.

          I always suspected he was severely autistic, and demanding the entire world live by his preferences for HOW TO HAVE AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION finally proved it.

          1. He is an annoying little squid, who loves illegals that rape small children. And based on his obsession with me, as displayed at great length in the comments to the Ngo Antifa article, I live in his head.

    2. “In China, they send millions of people to reeducation camps in order to rid them of their religious beliefs. It’s yet to be seen whether their efforts will be successful. “

      I doubt it.

      Look at the Spanish Inquisition. Jews were either forced to convert or were expelled. Yet many continued to practice covertly. Interestingly since pork was a staple in Spanish and Portuguese diet they even developed their own cuisine using things like cured duck in place of ham.

      Someone has published a cookbook of the Converso foods dating to the 15th century.

      https://jewishstudies.washington.edu/converso-cookbook-home/

      You can’t wipe out identity or faith by persecution.

      1. And the implicit bias they’re talking about runs even deeper than religion. If they can’t get of a relatively easier thought process by more drastic means, then why are we talking about ridding society implicit bias with lesser means? I guess it makes people feel better when the government is doing something rather than nothing.

        Meanwhile, the injustice of the bail and plea-bargaining system would still be there even if we didn’t talk about it in terms of race. Why do arguments against injustice require anything more than an argument against injustice?

        I think this is telling. I suspect a lot of these people are more than willing to inflict injustice on certain segments of our society so long as the injustice supposedly fights racism.

        1. Ken

          Bias cannot be eliminated and does not need to be.

          Think of any scientific study. Bias is assumed. That is why blinded studies, peer review and comparisons are done.

          1. Just for the record, I butchered it where I wrote:

            “If they can’t get [rid] of a relatively easier thought process (like religion) by more drastic means, then why are we talking about ridding society [of] implicit bias with lesser means?”

            The basics of mind control evolved from the practices of Buddhist monks. They were meant to teach prepubescent initiates, who were often the younger brothers of landowners, to lose their desire for possessions and women, both of which were threats to break up the family landholdings if the boy were to have a family of his own. Historically, they did a pretty good job of getting their initiates to rid themselves of some fundamental desires–even if not all of them reached Buddha level enlightenment.

            I’ve now pointed to extreme examples like reeducation camp victims and Buddhist monks. I could point to more, like Muslim suicide bombers, kamikaze pilots and Japanese soldiers who engaged in human wave attacks and mass suicides, etc. You can condition people to overcome some really fundamental stuff.

            I’m not arguing that the anti-racists are extremists who want to implement that level of mind control so much as I’m pointing out that because they’re unwilling to go far enough to achieve their ends, their weak efforts are unlikely to be as successful as those other examples. They can get people like ChemJeff and Tony to flail emotionally when their beliefs are confronted with reason, but they’re just primed for programming more so than programmed.

            For the most part, I think the elitist left is just throwing solutions up against the wall just so they can say they’re doing something about the issue of racism. Delegitimizing the thoughts of average people and limiting their ability to discriminate without negative consequences is conducive to their goals, but it’s a half-assed attempt at control–not the real thing.

            That being said, any “solution” that really did address our implicit biases really would be an attempt at mind control, and I won’t pretend otherwise–certainly not just because the thoughts of the intended target are stupid or awful. Likewise, I’ll continue to denounce any “solution” that violates people’s freedom of choice.

            The right to believe stupid and awful things, say stupid and awful things, and associate with other people based on stupid and awful things is fundamental to both the First Amendment and freedom itself.

  4. At its best, Biased unblinkingly explains the sheer complexity of solving tangled race-related problems in the United States.

    The first mistake is thinking that race-related problems* in the United States can ever be solved. The history of blacks and whites in this country simply makes that impossible. You have to accept that the problem will never go away and manage it the best you can.

    *And let’s face it, when we talk about “race-related problems in the U.S.,” we’re essentially talking about black-white problems.

    1. It is terribly illuminating having a conversation with a recent immigrant from Ghana vs a six generation black from Brooklyn.

  5. Can’t live in the mud without getting dirt on you.

  6. I wonder how the “discussion” on “reparations” will improve race relations in America? As this “discussion” goes forward, let’s be sure to demand that all registered Democrats be made fiscally and morally responsible for the sins of long deceased pro-slavery Democrats.

    1. What about the many still-with-us bigots who switched from Democratic to Republican in recent decades, as conservatives welcomed bigots in an effort to maintain an electoral coalition?

      Spoiler: The bigots will be replaced. By their betters. Can’t happen fast enough.

      1. Sounds like Nazi talk, nationalist of some kind.

        1. Wrong.

          Rev. Art is just passionate about academic credentialism, and he’s examined the data showing Mexican American high school students have much higher average SAT scores than their white peers. That’s why he wants to replace American whites with brown bodies from south of the border. Which is basically the opposite of the bigoted “nationalism” promoted by the alt-right.

        2. Nothing sinister here. I refer to the bigots who will be replaced, peacefully and inevitably, when cranky, old, intolerant Republicans (including but not limited to the white supremacists) take their stale thinking to the grave and are replaced by younger, better Americans.

          Unless you think an electorate that is becoming less rural, less religious, less white, less intolerant, and less backward is a good situation for the clingers, I guess.

          1. “Nothing sinister here”

            Fuck off racist.

      2. Go throw yourself into a running woodchipper feet first, slaver.

    2. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t try to break it down by political party. This entire country owes reparations, at least $14 trillion according to this piece, although more recent estimates I’ve seen put the figure higher.

      #LibertariansForReparations

      1. #ReparationsForRachel Dolezal

        Reparations for everybody who self-identifies as black, even one drop’s worth.

    3. The most likely effect of reparations talk is to make a race war look more attractive.

  7. Yup, we’re biased. So what?

    If we are supposed to “celebrate” difference, and revere pseudo-distinct cultural groups, then people will have preferences. Some people might think “my core values seem best matched by the people in that group, who look and behave in certain ways”. Other people might think “that group looks and behaves most like me, so I should embrace their values”. Maybe dumb in some ways, but whatever.

    When people form groups in opposition to other groups, then we have problems.

    1. Bias in this context is how or brains were evolved to allow us to survive. I have no problem crossing the street when I see someone who may or may not be a threat walking toward me, just in case.

      1. True. The left has evolved to be entitled thieves and fascists who think it fashionable to beat up a reporter and steal his stuff.

        Very sad.

        1. The left consists of thieves and fascists.

          The right consists of half-educated bigots, superstitious slack-jaws, anti-social malcontents, and evangelical hypocrites.

          Where is the hope for America?

          1. “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” — Ronald Reagan

  8. Maybe an attack from outer space would get all human beings to recognize their commonalities?

    Come on, Martians, make with the invasion already!

    1. “TODAY WE CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY!”
      — President Thomas J. Whitmore

  9. More bad economic news.

    Unemployment is at record lows

    Of course conservatives will seize on this as if it’s a good thing. That’s because they’re not as well-informed as AOC, who realizes a low unemployment rate is actually a bad thing — it means people need to work multiple jobs just to barely scrape by.

    Only a Democratic White House with a Koch / Reason immigration policy can prevent the #DrumpfRecession from becoming another Great Depression.

    #LibertariansForAOC
    #KrugmanWasRight

    1. #KrugmanIsLooneyLeft

  10. I think at this point Elizabeth Warren is tied with Kamala Harris as my top choice for 2020.

    Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator. Instead, we should be dealing with North Korea through principled diplomacy that promotes US security, defends our allies, and upholds human rights.

    It’s entirely Drumpf’s fault our situation with respect to North Korea is such a mess. Hillary Clinton would have fixed it. She was literally the most qualified Presidential candidate ever.

    #StillWithHer

    1. He is working on the theory that all the painstaking effort to deal with NK in the past was a waste of time and that he can improve relations by Arting the Deal with him.

      I suppose the domestic PR and global status elevation he keeps giving Kim is all part of the Artform.

      1. “all the painstaking effort to deal with NK in the past was a waste of time…”

        Based on real world evidence, that is the reality.

      2. It was a total waste of time. Is anyone really asserting the opposite?

      3. I hear a lot of talk about “elevating status” in the world.
        So, what exactly are the benefits? Higher credit score? Better seats at the game? Hotter chicks?

        1. Hopefully it means more scrutiny on the holocaust the Kim regime has perpetrated on their people. I wonder if Trump’s childlike mindless ego trip will contribute to a better life for them.

          1. Has to be better than Obama’s massive ego trip, and his feckless efforts.

    2. #StillWithHim
      #InternsToo
      #ChildrenToo

  11. Force integration was the government sledge hammer response to forced segregation.

    If, instead, government segregation had simply been stopped, and freedom of association left in place, we’d all know who the bigots and racists were, and those bigots and racists would have learned it’s best to not practice bigotry and racism if they want to stay in business.

    You can’t stop racism and bigotry; but you can let society convince people to stop overtly acting on it, and the end result would have been far better than the government sledge hammer.

  12. We need some court ordered bussing into the Reason editorial room, the comment section too . Some of you boys need to report to WorldstarHipHop and Jezebel immediately.

    1. They banned me the first time I replied to someone with “Fuck off, slaver”.

  13. Have I mentioned how much I hate Glenn Greenwald? Here he is patting himself on the back for whatever he’s doing in Brazil.

    I’m grateful to @pressfreedom, @abraji and the other press freedom and human rights groups – both inside Brazil and internationally – that have denounced these efforts of intimidation aimed at me and @TheInterceptBr for our reporting, which will continue

    Fine. Great. Speak out against the right-wing regime in Brazil. Too bad GG is a phony progressive and discredited #TrumpRussia denialist who downplays the outrageous conduct of the US government.

    #LibertariansAgainstGreenwald

    1. Glenn Greenwald has 24 dogs. That means he is a 24 times better human being than you, OBL.

    2. Too bad GG is a phony progressive

      That’s like saying “too bad GG is a phony woman”.

      How can someone who isn’t claiming to be a progressive be a “phony progressive”?

  14. More compelling policy proposals from my favorite Democrats.

    @KamalaHarris: “I support busing. Listen, the schools of America are as segregated, if not more segregated, today than when I was in [school]…need to put every effort, including busing, into play to de-segregate the schools…fed govt has a role & a responsibility to step up.”

    Everyone but the most vile white supremacist should agree with this. Scientific studies show a diverse learning environment enhances everybody’s education, so there’s really no downside.

    #LibertariansForBusing

    1. #LibertariansForBussing

    2. #LIbertariansForBifGovernment

      1. Big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. “Where are my taxes, McFly?”

    3. OBL makes a lot of sense. Nothing will turn the suburbs around our major cities bluer than finally giving them the opportunity to send their kids and grandkids on daily three hour commutes to inner city schools. And in areas with few POC kids, transport those in the inner city to white supremacist areas where they can get room and board with registered Democrats for 12 years.

  15. “Eberhardt also presents some difficult-to-refute findings about the role of implicit bias in the real world, including famous studies in which identical résumés are sent out with white- and black-sounding names (with the white ones getting far more callbacks) and another famous experiment in which a screen shielding performers’ identities during auditions led to more gender parity in previously male-dominated orchestra hiring.”

    I’ve actually seen fairly serious critiques of both of those studies. For the first, the explanation offered was that the black names were stereotypically lower class black names. You can find a detailed and convincing critique of the orchestra study at:
    https://medium.com/@jsmp/orchestrating-false-beliefs-about-gender-discrimination-a25a48e1d02. It seems clear that whether you conclude that women do better or worse with blind auditions depends which of the multiple results from the study you select to look at.

    1. Ah, you beat me to it. The study overall does not support what Eberhardt says it does in any case. I wonder whether she read her own citations.

  16. I am biased for and against people based on race, religion, ethnicity, culture, gender, education, political views, appearance, BMI, boob size, penis size, shoe size, car brand, accent, vocabulary size, and pretty much any other identifiable characteristic. If you think you’re not, you’re a fool.

    You’re also a fool if you think that letting psychologists mess with your head in an attempt to eliminate those biases is a good idea, or even achievable.

  17. Jesse, if the orchestra study to which the author refers is the widely cited one from the American Economic Review by Goldin and Rouse, then I’m afraid Eberhardt is simply wrong: the study found the exact opposite, that women’s success was actually higher when their gender was known than when blinded. Worthwhile post in Medium about it: https://medium.com/@jsmp/orchestrating-false-beliefs-about-gender-discrimination-a25a48e1d02

  18. As long as they don’t violate the NAP who cares if people are biased? Who cares if they’re racist, sexist or any other -ist? Be the most hateful person in history as long as you don’t initiate force I donxt care.

  19. Implicit bias seems to manifest itself when someone does not know the person or anything about the person. It is a quick categorization and it has little to do with race. We do the same thing with how someone talks or their posture or personal hygiene.

    The reason it falls apart with race is because as soon as we know that person or know things about that person we start building our actual model of that person in our mind.

    That being said, in certain situations it is a disadvantage to look different or be culturally different, such as (poor) job interviews or when the police stop you.

    1. That’s consistent with the research into stereotype accuracy; Stereotypes tend to be statistically accurate, and most people abandon them as soon as they have individualized information about somebody.

      Just exactly the way you’d hope people would use statistical generalizations, which are all stereotypes really are.

      1. Just exactly the way you’d hope people would use statistical generalizations, which are all stereotypes really are.

        It’s not just reasonable, it’s a rational survival trait. Anybody who doesn’t act that way acts irrationally and endangers themselves.

  20. Bias is a pointless subject because it’s a thought crime. You can’t prove it or quantify it and more often than not, you just end up strawmanning someone by accusing them of something they don’t actually believe, at least not in the manner you presented it.

  21. All earthly creatures have evolved by filtering out lies from truth, reality.

    Bigger brains, and greater intelligence, do it better, but even the lowest forms of life do it.

    As we do our brains form models, biases, that allow us to make decisions quickly to survive.

    The developers of propaganda have realized how emotion can be manipulated to form these biases based on lies when repeated often enough. Fake news.

    When people consciously embrace post truth they are delusional as they ignore reality and place their survival on the whimsy of emotions.

    This is the nature of radicalism. Bias not based on reality can only be in conflict.

    Criminalize lying and it all goes away, leaving only peace and reality.

    1. I value truth. I may be happily corrected but will never be beaten.

      A tie, in reality, is the best we’ll ever do.

  22. The bias against poor people in criminal justice is undeniable. Eliminating that bias is the right thing to do, and it will have a side effect of reducing the disproportional effect on black people in the prison population.

    1. Statistics say otherwise. The rates at which different groups are incarcerated generally reflect the rates at which they commit crimes. Differences in legal representation do have some effect, but it’s small compared to that.

  23. Show me how differences among racial groups vary normalized for economic status https://medium.com/@wuvilin

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