Unconscious Bias Quotes

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In an extroverted society, the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is that an introvert is often unconsciously deemed guilty until proven innocent.
Criss Jami (Venus in Arms)
Stupidity and unconscious bias often work more damage than venality.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays)
We unfortunately seem to be unconsciously biased against those in the society who come out on the bottom.
Leonard Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives)
Good people are not those who lack flaws, the brave are not those who feel no fear, and the generous are not those who never feel selfish. Extraordinary people are not extraordinary because they are invulnerable to unconscious biases. They are extraordinary because they choose to do something about it.
Shankar Vedantam
People have a basic desire to feel good about themselves, and we therefore have a tendency to be unconsciously biased in favor of traits similiar to our won, even such seemingly meaningless traits as our names. Scientists have even identified a discrete area of the brain, called the dorsal striatum, as the structure that mediates much of this bias.
Leonard Mlodinow (Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior)
The process occurs in two stages. The first step is to grant law enforcement officials extraordinary discretion regarding whom to stop, search, arrest, and charge for drug offenses, thus ensuring that conscious and unconscious racial beliefs and stereotypes will be given free rein. Unbridled discretion inevitably creates huge racial disparities. Then, the damning step: Close the courthouse doors to all claims by defendants and private litigants that the criminal justice system operates in racially discriminatory fashion. Demand that anyone who wants to challenge racial bias in the system offer, in advance, clear proof that the racial disparities are the product of intentional racial discrimination—i.e., the work of a bigot. This evidence will almost never be available in the era of colorblindness, because everyone knows—but does not say—that the enemy in the War on Drugs can be identified by race. This simple design has helped to produce one of the most extraordinary systems of racialized social control the world has ever seen.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Never having experienced inequality, therefore, the majority of straight white men will be absolutely oblivious to their own advantages – not because they must necessarily be insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic or unaware of the principles of equality; but because they have been told, over and over again, that there is no inequality left for them – or anyone else – to experience – and everything they have experienced up to that point will only have proved them right. Let the impact of that sink in for a moment. By teaching children and teenagers that equality already exists, we are actively blinding the group that most benefits from inequality – straight white men – to the prospect that it doesn’t. Privilege to them feels indistinguishable from equality, because they’ve been raised to believe that this is how the world behaves for everyone. And because the majority of our popular culture is straight-white-male-dominated, stories that should be windows into empathy for other, less privileged experiences have instead become mirrors, reflecting back at them the one thing they already know: that their lives both are important and free from discrimination. And this hurts men. It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished. It hurts them by saying they will always be inferior parents and caregivers, that they must always be active and aggressive even when they long for passivity and quietude, that they must enjoy certain things like sports and beer and cars or else be deemed morally suspect. It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening , and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money. Blog post 4/12/2012: Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men
Foz Meadows
When bad things happen to good people, we have a problem. We know consciously that life is unfair, but unconsciously we see the world through the lens of reciprocity. The downfall of an evil man (in our biased and moralistic assessment) is no puzzle: He had it coming to him. But when the victim was virtuous, we struggle to make sense of his tragedy. At an intuitive level, we all believe in karma, the Hindu notion that people reap what they sow. The psychologist Mel Lerner has demonstrated that we are so motivated to believe that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get that we often blame the victim of a tragedy, particularly when we can’t achieve justice by punishing a perpetrator or compensating the victim.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Because we often think of bias as a function of overt acts of bigotry, we can sometimes remain blind to the invisible structures, systems, and behaviors that bestow and reinforce that power and privilege on a daily basis.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
The frame, the definition, is a type of context. And context, as we said before, determines the meaning of things. There is no such thing as the view from nowhere, or from everywhere for that matter. Our point of view biases our observation, consciously and unconsciously. You cannot understand the view without the point of view.
Noam Shpancer (The Good Psychologist)
The process of making these connections is called bias. It can happen unintentionally. It can happen unconsciously. It can happen effortlessly. And it can happen in a matter of milliseconds. These associations can take hold of us no matter our values, no matter our conscious beliefs, no matter what kind of person we wish to be in the world.
Jennifer L. Eberhardt (Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do)
80 percent of white Americans hold unconscious bias against black Americans, bias so automatic that it kicks in before a person can process it, according to the Harvard sociologist David R. Williams.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
companies trying to misrepresent the product they sell by playing with our cognitive biases, our unconscious associations, and that’s sneaky. The latter is done by, say, showing a poetic picture of a sunset with a cowboy smoking and forcing an association between great romantic moments and some given product that, logically, has no possible connection to it. You seek a romantic moment and what you get is cancer.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder)
The attitude which the man in the street unconsciously adopts towards science is capricious and varied. At one moment he scorns the scientist for a highbrow, at another anathematizes him for blasphemously undermining his religion; but at the mention of a name like Edison he falls into a coma of veneration. When he stops to think, he does recognize, however, that the whole atmosphere of the world in which he lives is tinged by science, as is shown most immediately and strikingly by our modern conveniences and material resources. A little deeper thinking shows him that the influence of science goes much farther and colors the entire mental outlook of modern civilised man on the world about him.
Percy Williams Bridgman (Reflections of a Physicist)
Unconscious bias influences our lives in exactly the same manner as that undercurrent that took me out so far that day. When undercurrents aid us … we are invariably unconscious of them. We never credit the undercurrent for carrying us so swiftly; we credit ourselves, our talents, our skills. I was completely sure that it was my swimming ability that was carrying me out so swiftly that day. It did not matter that I knew in my heart that I was a very average swimmer, it did not matter that I knew that I should have worn a life jacket and flippers. On the way out, the idea of humility never occurred to me. It was only at the moment I turned back, when I had to go against the current, that I even realized the current existed.
Shankar Vedantam
Most striking, perhaps, is the overwhelming evidence that implicit bias measures are disassociated from explicit bias measures.45 In other words, the fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may even have black friends or relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias. Implicit bias tests may still show that you hold negative attitudes and stereotypes about blacks, even though you do not believe you do and do not want to.46 In
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Proximity to and even intimacy with BIPOC does not erase white privilege, unconscious bias, or complicity in the system of white supremacy. Being in a relationship with a BIPOC or having a biracial or multiracial child does not absolve a person with white privilege from the practice of antiracism.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: A Guided Journal: The Official Companion to the New York Times Bestselling Book Me and White Supremacy)
We must stop debating crime policy as though it were purely about crime. People must come to understand the racial history and origins of mass incarceration—the many ways our conscious and unconscious biases have distorted our judgments over the years about what is fair, appropriate, and constructive when responding to drug use and drug crime. We must come to see, too, how our economic insecurities and racial resentments have been exploited for political gain, and how this manipulation has caused suffering for people of all colors. Finally, we must admit, out loud, that it was because of race that we didn’t care much what happened to “those people” and imagined the worst possible things about them. The fact that our lack of care and concern may have been, at times, unintentional or unconscious does not mitigate our crime—if we refuse, when given the chance, to make amends. Admittedly,
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Decades of cognitive bias research demonstrates that both unconscious and conscious biases lead to discriminatory actions, even when an individual does not want to discriminate.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Author compares the impact of biases to his experience as an average swimmer who overcame a considerable fear of water. While the swimming was easy in one particular experience, he was internally congratulating himself on his acquired skill. But when he realized he was swimming with a current he would now have to fight against, he realized just how definite his limits were.
Shankar Vedantam (The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives)
. . . [I]t's very difficult to ask questions of nature that aren't somehow already colored by our very human preconceptions. Even the simplest, most objective, questions may play into preexisting prejudices.
K.C. Cole (The Hole in the Universe)
Immunizing prosecutors from claims of racial bias and failing to impose any meaningful check on the exercise of their discretion in charging, plea bargaining, transferring cases, and sentencing has created an environment in which conscious and unconscious biases are allowed to flourish. Numerous studies have shown that prosecutors interpret and respond to identical criminal activity differently based on the race of the offender.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
[O]ur attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately . . . But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And . . . we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion.
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)
Once blackness and crime, especially drug crime, became conflated in the public consciousness, the “criminalblackman,” as termed by legal scholar Kathryn Russell, would inevitably become the primary target of law enforcement.51 Some discrimination would be conscious and deliberate, as many honestly and consciously would believe that black men deserve extra scrutiny and harsher treatment. Much racial bias, though, would operate unconsciously and automatically—even among law enforcement officials genuinely committed to equal treatment under the law.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
The conundrum of the twenty-first (century) is that with the best intentions of color blindness, and laws passed in this spirit, we still carry instincts and reactions inherited from our environments and embedded in our being below the level of conscious decision. There is a color line in our heads, and while we could see its effects we couldn’t name it until now. But john powell is also steeped in a new science of “implicit bias,” which gives us a way, finally, even to address this head on. It reveals a challenge that is human in nature, though it can be supported and hastened by policies to create new experiences, which over time create new instincts and lay chemical and physical pathways. This is a helpfully unromantic way to think about what we mean when we aspire, longingly, to a lasting change of heart. And john powell and others are bringing training methodologies based on the new science to city governments and police forces and schools. What we’re finding now in the last 30 years is that much of the work, in terms of our cognitive and emotional response to the world, happens at the unconscious level.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
Finally, for the same criminal conviction, the more stereotypically Af-rican a black individual’s facial features, the longer the sentence.15 In contrast, juries view black (but not white) male defendants more favorably if they’re wearing big, clunky glasses; some defense attorneys even exploit this “nerd defense” by accessorizing their clients with fake glasses, and prosecuting attorneys ask whether those dorky glasses are real. In other words, when blind, impartial justice is supposedly being administered, jurors are unconsciously biased by racial stereotypes of someone’s face.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
For Ginsburg, therefore, the #MeToo movement, in which women used social media and other platforms to demand the same respect in the workplace as their male colleagues, was a vindication of her vision that women should empower themselves by joining the workplace in numbers and refusing to tolerate unequal treatment, intentional or unintentional. Ginsburg believes that the Constitution should be interpreted to root out unconscious biases that subordinate women. But as she recognized decades ago, true equality requires that men and women work together to root out unconscious bias in families and in the workplace.
Jeffrey Rosen (Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law)
But what sort of experiment? An English statistician named Bradford Hill (a former victim of TB himself) proposed an extraordinary solution. Hill began by recognizing that doctors, of all people, could not be entrusted to perform such an experiment without inherent biases. Every biological experiment requires a “control” arm—untreated subjects against whom the efficacy of a treatment can be judged. But left to their own devices, doctors were inevitably likely (even if unconsciously so) to select certain types of patients upfront, then judge the effects of a drug on this highly skewed population using subjective criteria, piling bias on top of bias. Hill
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies)
Idea in Brief Are you an ethical manager? Most would probably say, “Of course!” The truth is, most of us are not. Most of us believe that we’re ethical and unbiased. We assume that we objectively size up job candidates or venture deals and reach fair and rational conclusions that are in our organization’s best interests. But the truth is, we harbor many unconscious—and unethical—biases that derail our decisions and undermine our work as managers. Hidden biases prevent us from recognizing high-potential workers and retaining talented managers. They stop us from collaborating effectively with partners. They erode our teams’ performance. They can also lead to costly lawsuits.
Harvard Business School Press (HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing People)
I’m done being polite about this bullshit. My list of professional insecurities entirely stems from being a young woman. Big plot twist there! As much as I like to execute equality instead of discussing the blaring inequality, the latter is still necessary. Everything, everywhere, is still necessary. The more women who take on leadership positions, the more representation of women in power will affect and shift the deep-rooted misogyny of our culture—perhaps erasing a lot of these inherent and inward concerns. But whether a woman is a boss or not isn’t even what I’m talking about—I’m talking about when she is, because even when she manages to climb up to the top, there’s much more to do, much more to change. When a woman is in charge, there are still unspoken ideas, presumptions, and judgments being thrown up into the invisible, terribly lit air in any office or workplace. And I’m a white woman in a leadership position—I can only speak from my point of view. The challenges that women of color face in the workforce are even greater, the hurdles even higher, the pay gap even wider. The ingrained, unconscious bias is even stronger against them. It’s overwhelming to think about the amount of restructuring and realigning we have to do, mentally and physically, to create equality, but it starts with acknowledging the difference, the problem, over and over.
Abbi Jacobson (I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff)
Civil rights thus does not temper popular sovereignty, it replaces it. What we call political correctness is the natural outcome of civil rights, which makes fighting bias a condition for the legitimacy of the state. Once bias is held to be part of the “unconscious,” of human nature, there are no areas of human life in which the state’s vigilance is not called for.
Christopher Caldwell (The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties)
. . . I'm not sure we always respect the mysteries of the locked door and the dangers of the storytelling problem. There are times when we demand an explanation when an explanation really isn't possible, and, as we'll explore in the upcoming chapters of this book, doing so can have serious consequences. 'After the O.J. Simpson verdict, one of the jurors appeared on TV and said with absolute conviction, "Race had absolutely nothing to do with my decision,"' psychologist Joshua Aronson says. 'But how on earth could she know that? What my [and others] research . . . show[s] is that people are ignorant of the things that affect their actions, yet they rarely feel ignorant. We need to accept our ignorance and say "I don't know" more often.
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)
I know there still are barriers and biases out there, often unconscious,” she finally said, and the room roared in relief and affirmation. “You can be so proud that, from now on, it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary state victories, unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the president of the United States.” She paused. People screamed. “And that is truly remarkable.
Rebecca Traister (Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women)
Again, it is important to stress that this belief is not necessarily a consciously chosen one. It is a deeply hidden, unconscious aspect of white supremacy that is hardly ever spoken about but practiced in daily life without even thinking about it. The reality is that you have been conditioned since you were a child to believe in white superiority through the way your history was taught, through the way race was talked about, and through the way students of color were treated differently from you. You have been educated by institutions that have taught white superiority through curricula that favor a white-biased narrative, through the lack of representation of BIPOC, and through the way these institutions handled acts of racism. You have been conditioned by media that continues to reinforce white superiority through an overrepresentation of celebrities and leaders who look like you, through the cultural appropriation of BIPOC fashion, language, and customs, and through the narrative of the white savior.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
The word “racism” went out of fashion in the liberal haze of racial progress—Obama’s political brand—and conservatives started to treat racism as the equivalent to the N-word, a vicious pejorative rather than a descriptive term. With the word itself becoming radioactive to some, passé to others, some well-meaning Americans started consciously and perhaps unconsciously looking for other terms to identify racism. “Microaggression” became part of a whole vocabulary of old and new words—like “cultural wars” and “stereotype” and “implicit bias” and “economic anxiety” and “tribalism”—that made it easier to talk about or around the R-word. I do not use “microaggression” anymore. I detest the post-racial platform that supported its sudden popularity. I detest its component parts—“micro” and “aggression.” A persistent daily low hum of racist abuse is not minor. I use the term “abuse” because aggression is not as exacting a term. Abuse accurately describes the action and its effects on people: distress, anger, worry, depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue, and suicide.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
If You Are Human, You Are Biased Our conscious motivations, ideas, and beliefs are a blend of false information, biases, irrational passions, rationalizations, prejudices, in which morsels of truth swim around and give the reassurance albeit false, that the whole mixture is real and true. The thinking processes attempt to organize this whole cesspool of illusions according to the laws of plausibility. This level of consciousness is supposed to reflect reality; it is the map we use for organizing our life. —Erich Fromm, German psychologist and psychoanalyst
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
Most historical accounts were written by fallible scholars, using incomplete or biased resource materials; written through the scholars' own conscious or unconscious predilections; published by textbook or printing companies that have a stake in maintaining a certain set of beliefs; subtly influenced by entities of government and society — national administrations, state education departments, local school boards, etcetera — that also wish to maintain certain sets of beliefs. To be blunt about it, much of the history of many countries and states is based on delusion, propaganda, misinformation, and omission.
James Alexander Thom (The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction)
As psychologist Bruce Hood writes in his book The Self Illusion, you have an origin story and a sense that you’ve traveled from youth to now along a linear path, with ups and downs that ultimately made you who you are today. Babies don’t have that. That sense is built around events that you can recall and place in time. Babies and small children have what Hood calls “unconscious knowledge,” which is to say they simply recognize patterns and make associations with stimuli. Without episodic memories, there is no narrative; and without any narrative, there is no self. Somewhere between ages two and three, according to Hood, that sense of self begins to come online, and that awakening corresponds with the ability to tell a story about yourself based on memories. He points to a study by Alison Gopnik and Janet Astington in 1988 in which researchers presented to three-year-olds a box of candy, but the children were then surprised to find pencils inside instead of sweets. When they asked each child what the next kid would think was in the box when he or she went through the same experiment, the answer was usually pencils. The children didn’t yet know that other people have minds, so they assumed everyone knew what they knew. Once you gain the ability to assume others have their own thoughts, the concept of other minds is so powerful that you project it into everything: plants, glitchy computers, boats with names, anything that makes more sense to you when you can assume, even jokingly, it has a sort of self. That sense of agency is so powerful that people throughout time have assumed a consciousness at the helm of the sun, the moon, the winds, and the seas. Out of that sense of self and other selves come the narratives that have kept whole societies together. The great mythologies of the ancients and moderns are stories made up to make sense of things on a grand scale. So strong is the narrative bias that people live and die for such stories and devote whole lives to them (as well as take lives for them).
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
There is humility in confession. A recognition of flaws. To hear myself say out loud these shameful secrets meant I acknowledged my flaws. I also for the first time was given the opportunity to contextualize anew the catalogue of beliefs and prejudices, simply by exposing them to another, for the first time hearing the words ‘Yes, but have you looked at it this way?’ This was a helpful step in gaining a new perspective on my past, and my past was a significant proportion of who I believed myself to be. It felt like I had hacked into my own past. Unravelled all the erroneous and poisonous information I had unconsciously lived with and lived by and with necessary witness, the accompaniment of another man, reset the beliefs I had formed as a child and left unamended through unnecessary fear. Suddenly my fraught and freighted childhood became reasonable and soothed. ‘My mum was doing her best, so was my dad.’ Yes, people made mistakes but that’s what humans do, and I am under no obligation to hoard these errors and allow them to clutter my perception of the present. Yes, it is wrong that I was abused as a child but there is no reason for me to relive it, consciously or unconsciously, in the way I conduct my adult relationships. My perceptions of reality, even my own memories, are not objective or absolute, they are a biased account and they can be altered. It is possible to reprogram your mind. Not alone, because a tendency, a habit, an addiction will always reassert by its own invisible momentum, like a tide. With this program, with the support of others, and with this mysterious power, this new ability to change, we achieve a new perspective, and a new life.
Russell Brand (Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions)
The central question, then, is how exactly does a formally colorblind criminal justice system achieve such racially discriminatory results? Rather easily, it turns out. The process occurs in two stages. The first step is to grant law enforcement officials extraordinary discretion regarding whom to stop, search, arrest, and charge for drug offenses, thus ensuring that conscious and unconscious racial beliefs and stereotypes will be given free rein. Unbridled discretion inevitably creates huge racial disparities. Then, the damning step: Close the courthouse doors to all claims by defendants and private litigants that the criminal justice system operates in racially discriminatory fashion. Demand that anyone who wants to challenge racial bias in the system offer, in advance, clear proof that the racial disparities are the product of intentional racial discrimination—i.e., the work of a bigot. This
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
astonishing number of senior leaders are systemically incapable of identifying their organization’s most glaring and dangerous shortcomings. This is not a function of stupidity, but rather stems from two routine pressures that constrain everybody’s thinking and behavior. The first is comprised of cognitive biases, such as mirror imaging, anchoring, and confirmation bias. These unconscious motivations on decision-making under uncertain conditions make it inherently difficult to evaluate one’s own judgments and actions. As David Dunning, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, has shown in countless environments, people who are highly incompetent in terms of their skills or knowledge are also terrible judges of their own performance. For example, people who perform the worst on pop quizzes also have the widest variance between how they thought they performed and the actual score that they earned.22
Micah Zenko (Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy)
The central question, then, is how exactly does a formally colorblind criminal justice system achieve such racially discriminatory results? Rather easily, it turns out. The process occurs in two stages. The first step is to grant law enforcement officials extraordinary discretion regarding whom to stop, search, arrest, and charge for drug offenses, thus ensuring that conscious and unconscious racial beliefs and stereotypes will be given free rein. Unbridled discretion inevitably creates huge racial disparities. Then, the damning step: Close the courthouse doors to all claims by defendants and private litigants that the criminal justice system operates in racially discriminatory fashion. Demand that anyone who wants to challenge racial bias in the system offer, in advance, clear proof that the racial disparities are the product of intentional racial discrimination—i.e., the work of a bigot. This evidence will almost never be available in the era of colorblindness, because everyone knows—but does not say—that the enemy in the War on Drugs can be identified by race. This simple design has helped to produce one of the most extraordinary systems of racialized social control the world has ever seen.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
The most comprehensive studies of racial bias in the exercise of prosecutorial and judicial discretion involve the treatment of juveniles. These studies have shown that youth of color are more likely to be arrested, detained, formally charged, transferred to adult court, and confined to secure residential facilities than their white counterparts.65 A report in 2000 observed that among youth who have never been sent to a juvenile prison before, African Americans were more than six times as likely as whites to be sentenced to prison for identical crimes.66 A study sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department and several of the nation’s leading foundations, published in 2007, found that the impact of the biased treatment is magnified with each additional step into the criminal justice system. African American youth account for 16 percent of all youth, 28 percent of all juvenile arrests, 35 percent of the youth waived to adult criminal court, and 58 percent of youth admitted to state adult prison.67 A major reason for these disparities is unconscious and conscious racial biases infecting decision making. In the state of Washington, for example, a review of juvenile sentencing reports found that prosecutors routinely described black and white offenders differently.68 Blacks committed crimes because of internal personality flaws such as disrespect. Whites did so because of external conditions such as family conflict. The risk that prosecutorial discretion will be racially biased is especially acute in the drug enforcement context, where virtually identical behavior is susceptible to a wide variety of interpretations and responses and the media imagery and political discourse has been so thoroughly racialized. Whether a kid is perceived as a dangerous drug-dealing thug or instead is viewed as a good kid who was merely experimenting with drugs and selling to a few of his friends has to do with the ways in which information about illegal drug activity is processed and interpreted, in a social climate in which drug dealing is racially defined. As a former U.S. Attorney explained: I had an [assistant U.S. attorney who] wanted to drop the gun charge against the defendant [in a case in which] there were no extenuating circumstances. I asked, “Why do you want to drop the gun offense?” And he said, “‘He’s a rural guy and grew up on a farm. The gun he had with him was a rifle. He’s a good ol’ boy, and all good ol’ boys have rifles, and it’s not like he was a gun-toting drug dealer.” But he was a gun-toting drug dealer, exactly.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
In 2006, researchers Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler created fake newspaper articles about polarizing political issues. The articles were written in a way that would confirm a widespread misconception about certain ideas in American politics. As soon as a person read a fake article, experimenters then handed over a true article that corrected the first. For instance, one article suggested that the United States had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The next article corrected the first and said that the United States had never found them, which was the truth. Those opposed to the war or who had strong liberal leanings tended to disagree with the original article and accept the second. Those who supported the war and leaned more toward the conservative camp tended to agree with the first article and strongly disagree with the second. These reactions shouldn’t surprise you. What should give you pause, though, is how conservatives felt about the correction. After reading that there were no WMDs, they reported being even more certain than before that there actually were WMDs and that their original beliefs were correct. The researchers repeated the experiment with other wedge issues, such as stem cell research and tax reform, and once again they found that corrections tended to increase the strength of the participants’ misconceptions if those corrections contradicted their ideologies. People on opposing sides of the political spectrum read the same articles and then the same corrections, and when new evidence was interpreted as threatening to their beliefs, they doubled down. The corrections backfired. Researchers Kelly Garrett and Brian Weeks expanded on this work in 2013. In their study, people already suspicious of electronic health records read factually incorrect articles about such technologies that supported those subjects’ beliefs. In those articles, the scientists had already identified any misinformation and placed it within brackets, highlighted it in red, and italicized the text. After they finished reading the articles, people who said beforehand that they opposed electronic health records reported no change in their opinions and felt even more strongly about the issue than before. The corrections had strengthened their biases instead of weakening them. Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
Learning to be aware of what you unconsciously know may depend on a line of focused effort and specialized knowledge and even some measure of aptitude, but actually learning it may be effortless, automatic, and require very little of what we normally think of as intelligence.
Gregory C. Carlson (Sold on Language: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says About You)
Idea in Brief Are you an ethical manager? Most would probably say, “Of course!” The truth is, most of us are not. Most of us believe that we’re ethical and unbiased. We assume that we objectively size up job candidates or venture deals and reach fair and rational conclusions that are in our organization’s best interests. But the truth is, we harbor many unconscious—and unethical—biases that derail our decisions and undermine our work as managers. Hidden biases prevent us from recognizing high-potential workers and retaining talented managers.
Harvard Business School Press
Many of us see emotions as naturally occurring. But emotions are political in two key ways. First, our emotions are shaped by our biases and beliefs, our cultural frameworks. For example, if I believe—consciously or unconsciously—that it is normal and appropriate for men to express anger but not women, I will have very different emotional responses to men’s and women’s expressions of anger. I might see a man who expresses anger as competent and in charge and may feel respect for him, while I see a woman who expresses anger as childish and out of control and may feel contempt for her. If I believe that only bad people are racist, I will feel hurt, offended, and shamed when an unaware racist assumption of mine is pointed out. If I instead believe that having racist assumptions is inevitable (but possible to change), I will feel gratitude when an unaware racist assumption is pointed out; now I am aware of and can change that assumption. In this way, emotions are not natural; they are the result of the frameworks we are using to make sense of social relations. And of course, social relations are political. Our emotions are also political because they are often externalized; our emotions drive behaviors that impact other people.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Racial bias is largely unconscious, and herein lies the deepest challenge—the defensiveness that ensues upon any suggestion of racial bias.4 This defensiveness is classic white fragility because it protects our racial bias while simultaneously affirming our identities as open-minded. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to be confronted with an aspect of ourselves that we don’t like, but we can’t change what we refuse to see.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Once we understand the power of implicit bias, for example, we know that we must deepen rather than close off further reflection. Although deeper reflection won’t free us of unconscious inequitable treatment of others, it will get us closer than will outright denial.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
The school encouraged incoming first-year law students in the fall of 2014 to be tested for unconscious bias, for which they could receive counseling at the school’s expense.
Heather Mac Donald (The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture)
Whether bad or good, whether justified or unjustified, our beliefs and attitudes can become so strongly associated with the category that they are automatically triggered, affecting our behavior and decision making. So, for example, simply seeing a black person can automatically bring to mind a host of associations that we have picked up from our society: this person is a good athlete, this person doesn’t do well in school, this person is poor, this person dances well, this person lives in a black neighborhood, this person should be feared. The process of making these connections is called bias. It can happen unintentionally. It can happen unconsciously. It can happen effortlessly. And it can happen in a matter of milliseconds. These associations can take hold of us no matter our values, no matter our conscious beliefs, no matter what kind of person we wish to be in the world.
Janet L. Eberhardt
Racism is a multilayered system embedded in our culture. • All of us are socialized into the system of racism. • Racism cannot be avoided. • Whites have blind spots on racism, and I have blind spots on racism. • Racism is complex, and I don’t have to understand every nuance of the feedback to validate that feedback. • Whites are / I am unconsciously invested in racism. • Bias is implicit and unconscious; I don’t expect to be aware of mine without a lot of ongoing effort. • Giving us white people feedback on our racism is risky for people of color, so we can consider the feedback a sign of trust. • Feedback on white racism is difficult to give; how I am given the feedback is not as relevant as the feedback itself. • Authentic antiracism is rarely comfortable. Discomfort is key to my growth and thus desirable. • White comfort maintains the racial status quo, so discomfort is necessary and important. • I must not confuse comfort with safety; as a white person, I am safe in discussions of racism. • The antidote to guilt is action. • It takes courage to break with white solidarity; how can I support those who do? • I bring my group’s history with me; history matters. • Given my socialization, it is much more likely that I am the one who doesn’t understand the issue. • Nothing exempts me from the forces of racism. • My analysis must be intersectional (a recognition that my other social identities—class, gender, ability—inform how I was socialized into the racial system). • Racism hurts (even kills) people of color 24-7. Interrupting it is more important than my feelings, ego, or self-image.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
French polymath Gustave Le Bon wrote The Crowd in 1895 as a rant on French politics, but his observations also describe how stock market manias occur. Under the influence of crowds, individuals act bizarrely, in ways they never would alone. Le Bon’s key theme is that crowds are mentally unified at the lowest, most barbaric, common denominator of their collective unconscious—instincts, passions, and feelings—never reason. Being unable to reason, crowds can’t separate fact from fiction. Crowds are impressed by spectacle, images, and myths. Misinformation and exaggeration become contagious. Prestige attaches to true believers who reaffirm shared beliefs. Crowds will chase a delusion until it is destroyed by experience.
Joel Tillinghast (Big Money Thinks Small: Biases, Blind Spots, and Smarter Investing)
We have this bias toward attractiveness because of out selfish-gene history: the unconscious mandate to reproduce, reproduce, reproduce, so that we as species don't go extinct. This deep-seated urge is so strong that studies have shown that men's mating motives are triggered by the mere presence of attractive women, even when they are trying to focus on something else.
John A. Bargh (Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do)
we need to actively direct our brain to move away from prioritizing these unconscious biases, and to being more open, flexible and courageous about pushing ourselves towards our goals and choices that feel “new” and “dangerous.” Focusing on what we do want rather than what we need to avoid in order to survive will mean we are more likely to manifest it (in the same way that if you’re mountain biking, you should never look at the potholes and boulders you don’t want to ride over, but instead focus on the path through them).
Tara Swart (The Source: The Secrets of the Universe, the Science of the Brain)
This was a helpful step in gaining a new perspective on my past, and my past was a significant proportion of who I believed myself to be. It felt like I had hacked into my own past. Unravelled all the erroneous and poisonous information I had unconsciously lived with and lived by and with necessary witness, the accompaniment of another man, reset the beliefs I had formed as a child and left unamended through unnecessary fear. Suddenly my fraught and freighted childhood became reasonable and soothed. ‘My mum was doing her best, so was my dad.’ Yes, people made mistakes but that’s what humans do, and I am under no obligation to hoard these errors and allow them to clutter my perception of the present. Yes, it is wrong that I was abused as a child but there is no reason for me to relive it, consciously or unconsciously, in the way I conduct my adult relationships. My perceptions of reality, even my own memories, are not objective or absolute, they are a biased account and they can be altered.
Russell Brand
humans all suffer from Cognitive Bias, that is, unconscious—and irrational—brain processes that literally distort the way we see the world.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Bias is implicit and unconscious; I don’t expect to be aware of mine without a lot of ongoing effort.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Bias is implicit and unconscious; I don’t expect to be aware of mine without a lot of ongoing effort. • Giving us white people feedback on our racism is risky for people of color, so we can consider the feedback a sign of trust.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
We are more likely to trust a person who is easier to read; they're easier to believe. Or we tend to think that an energetic and happy person will be more productive. Even traits such as competence, dominance, and courage can be conveyed by certain facial expressions and will stimulate unconscious bias.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Body Language: 8 Ways to Optimize Non-Verbal Communication for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #3))
When we speak with others, we are often unconsciously importing the energy of our previous encounters, and we sometimes carry over the residue of angst and resentments from the past. In any conversation or encounter there is the possibility for misappropriation of meaning and intent, giving rise to unnecessary skepticism, and ultimately suspicion of others. A person can easily fall into a default mode in which they immediately assume the worst about people.
Mendel Kalmenson (Positivity Bias)
This is an especially important question to ask at the present time, as I write this book more than six years since the start of the dramatic recession of 2008. This recession has not only devastated the world economy, but it has contributed to a regression in the very behaviors of bias I have discussed thus far. There is no real surprise here, as history has shown us time and again that economic stress creates a greater sense of threat and fear of “the other.” On a societal scale, hate crimes go up when the economy goes down. On a global scale, dictatorial and fascist regimes are almost always preceded by economic upheaval, whether it is Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Franco in Spain, or the Taliban in Afghanistan. These kinds of movements have almost always focused on identifying an “other” who has to be controlled, dethroned, or annihilated.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
As odd as it may seem, there also are constructive uses of biases against certain groups (Q2 in figure 1.1). They can benefit us in many ways. We determine that people who have aggressive personality types might not be the best fit for a customer service job. Or that people who don’t have certain technology skills and background won’t be a good match for a job that requires computer proficiency. If we didn’t have these filters, hiring would be almost oppressive, because we would start with a huge number of résumés and have to look at all of them more carefully than time might allow. I know that many people would say those are “qualifications,” and that looking for qualifications is not the same as having biases. In fact, qualifications are simply biases that we have agreed upon and codified. There are hundreds of examples of people who have performed in extraordinary ways who do not have the normal qualifications for their roles. If qualifications were the only measure of success, than college dropouts such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates would still be unknown. However, understandably, we have determined that while there are occasional creative eccentrics like Jobs and Gates, it just doesn’t make good sense to look at 150 résumés and not take education into account. So we use biases against the lack of those characteristics to “filter out” certain people who we might have determined are not a good fit for the job.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
In extensive research, Cuddy, Fiske, and Glick found there were some groups people tended to respond to with a low degree of both warmth and competence (e.g., welfare recipients, homeless people, poor people, and Arabs). Others we may feel a high degree of warmth toward, but not see as very competent (e.g., the elderly and people with physical or mental disabilities). Still others we may see as very competent, but not feel very much warmth toward at all (e.g., Asians, rich people, and Jews). And finally, there are those for whom we feel a high level of warmth, and a high level of competence (e.g., housewives, Christians, middle-class Americans). How we feel about each of these groups might yield very different behaviors.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
Brendan Nyhan, assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College, found that when voters are misinformed, factual information only makes them become more rigid in their point of view! Nyhan found these instances of facts making people more rigid: -People who thought weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq believed that misinformation even more strongly when they were shown a news story correcting that belief. -People who thought George W. Bush banned all stem cell research kept thinking he did that even after they were shown an article saying that only some federally funded stem cell work was stopped. -People who said the economy was the most important issue to them, and who disapproved of Barack Obama’s economic record, were shown a graph of nonfarm employment over the prior year. It included a rising line that indicated about one million jobs were added. They were asked whether the number of people with jobs had gone up, down, or stayed about the same. Many, looking straight at the graph, said down.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
It is not by accident that people in nondominant groups pick up on these subtle behaviors more quickly and clearly than people in dominant groups. When we are members of dominant groups, which, in the United States, generally means whites, men, Christians, and heterosexuals (among others), we often don’t easily see these behaviors. And we don’t need to do so. Our culture is closely aligned with the culture. When we are in nondominant groups, it is essential to notice some of these subtleties to survive on a daily basis. We learn to spot them before they make a negative impact upon us.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
All of the examples are subject to interpretation. Yet, on another level, what in life isn’t subject to interpretation? As I have been saying thus far in this book, this is the way the mind works. Something happens. We see parts of it, because our mind cannot process all of the information in front of us. We then take what we do process, filtered by our previous experience, and evaluate that particular instance based on the biases that we have developed over the course of our lives. To some degree, everything we see and experience is purely based upon interpretation.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
Feeling powerful seems to makes us less oriented toward risk, and more oriented toward rewards. Less oriented toward compassion, and more oriented toward selfishness. Less aware of how we got where we are, and more likely to feel like we earned it ourselves. Does that mean that people with power are not such good people? What all of this means is that power activates certain aspects of the brain and shuts down others, creating an unconscious tendency to be more or less attentive to the needs of others around us. People in power positions may be unconsciously more susceptible to selfishness and reduced empathy, without ever realizing it. It is not the people who hold the power that are the problem. Rather, it is the impact power makes upon people.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
In the introduction I mentioned a study that was conducted by Justin Wolfers and Joseph Price that revealed bias among NBA referees. In February 2014 the authors of the original study, along with Devin Pope, from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, found that simply being aware of the issue, even without any conscious action, had created significant change. The authors found that the bias continued during the three years after the initial study, but that after the study received widespread media attention in 2007 the bias virtually disappeared. While the NBA reported no specific actions taken (e.g., no discussions or changes in training or incentives for referees) the awareness and attention to the issue appear to have been enough to create significant change. Simply having it in their span of attention appears to have changed the referees’ behavior.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
There is an important difference between feeling guilty and taking responsibility. I once heard that guilt is what you feel because of what you did, but responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you want to be. The distinction between guilt and responsibility is not simply a theoretical moral or linguistic distinction. It is a distinction that quite profoundly affects the way we deal with the issue at hand. When we feel guilty we usually feel powerless. We feel violated, either by our own abandonment of our values, or because somebody else “made us feel that way.” That’s why we often attribute our guilt to others (“Why are you always making me feel guilty?”). Guilt often leads to defensiveness, anxiety, and shame, and because we feel blamed, either by others, or ourselves, it also may lead to retaliation. This is one of the reasons there is such strong white male backlash around diversity and inclusion issues. White men are reacting to being blamed and “made” to feel guilty for things they often don’t realize that they’re doing, or for privileges they don’t realize they have had for longer than any of them have been alive. I want to be clear that I’m not suggesting that there are not a lot of white men who have done things, and do things, that have harmed others. On the contrary. However, for many, these behaviors occur without people ever realizing they are engaging in the behaviors. On the other hand, when we take responsibility for our actions, we empower ourselves. We can bring compassion to ourselves and to others for our blind spots. We are, by the very nature of the word, “able to respond” to the situation at hand. We can be motivated to grow, to develop, to improve ourselves and transform our ways of being. We have an opportunity to correct our mistakes and move forward and, we hope, improve the situation. In doing so, we can remove the “good person/bad person” stigma, and instead deal with each other as human beings, with all of us trying to figure out how to get along in this world. Again, I want to be very clear: I am not in any way suggesting we avoid dealing with people who are overtly hostile or biased. We have to establish a zero tolerance policy for that kind of behavior. But the evidence is very clear, and it is that, overwhelmingly, most bias is unconscious. When we treat people who don’t know they are demonstrating bias in a way that suggests there is something evil about them, we not only put them on the defensive, but we also lose the ability to influence them because they have no idea what we are focused on.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
A host of studies show that because of subtle bias, women have to perform better than their male counterparts to be seen as performing equally. In response to this, women often work harder than their male counterparts, spending more time on preparatory work. In other words, we learn (consciously or unconsciously) that diligent preparation is a pretty good strategy for succeeding, as best we can, in a professional and academic world where we’ll often be underestimated.
Tara Mohr (Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message)
will be arguing that skeptics’ claims—about the biases that distort our perceptions, for instance—sometimes do not hold up against masses of compelling evidence, including laboratory evidence, that something about our cognition—or our consciousness, if you prefer that term—really transcends the present moment. Premonitory dreams, weird “memories” of things that haven’t happened yet, and other odd experiences in which we seem to overtake ourselves in time may reflect that we genuinely think across the fourth dimension, not unlike Asimov’s thiotimoline molecule.
Eric Wargo (Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious)
At the same time, some sexual practices are much more common than others. Moderate polygyny, for instance, is exceedingly common; polyandry is not. Compulsory homosexuality is not unheard-of, but is far less common than compulsory heterosexuality. The best way to formulate a "biological" explanation for these phenomena is not in terms of the adaptiveness of the practices, but in terms of a set of unconscious cognitive structures or somatic responses that bias cultural reproduction in the direction of one or another practice
Joseph Heath (Following the Rules: Practical Reasoning and Deontic Constraint)
Most interviewers unconsciously react to the candidate’s first impression, good and bad. If bad, they become uptight, convinced the person is not qualified. This unconscious bias causes them to ask tougher questions, going out of their way to prove the candidate is not qualified. They minimize the positives and maximize the negatives. Sometime during the interview this bias dissipates, but for those candidates that start out in the doghouse it’s often too late, with the person never being seriously considered or evaluated.
Lou Adler (The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired)
Cognitive Bias, that is, unconscious—and irrational—brain processes that literally distort the way we see the world. Kahneman and Tversky discovered more than 150 of them. There’s the Framing Effect, which demonstrates that people respond differently to the same choice depending on how it is framed (people place greater value on moving from 90 percent to 100 percent—high probability to certainty—than from 45 percent to 55 percent, even though they’re both ten percentage points). Prospect Theory explains why we take unwarranted risks in the face of uncertain losses. And the most famous is Loss Aversion, which shows how people are statistically more likely to act to avert a loss than to achieve an equal gain. Kahneman
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
CAMPERS is a seven-step process you can use to improve your ability to provide inclusive, nonjudgmental care when you are planning, engaging in, and reflecting on a patient interaction. The letters in the mnemonic device stand for: clear purpose, attitudes and beliefs, mitigation plan, patient, emotions, reactions, and strategy.
Kimberly D. Acquaviva (LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Guide to Transforming Professional Practice)
When he took the Implicit Association Test (IAT) that measures unconscious bias, his scores revealed him to have essentially no unconscious bias.
Kim Malone Scott (Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity)
Researchers may have some conscious or unconscious bias, either because of a strongly held prior belief or because a positive finding would be better for their career. (No one ever gets rich or famous by proving what doesn't cause cancer.)
Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data)
To widen our inner circle and include others who are not like us, we must take a few risks, open our hearts and minds, change our mindset, and be willing to expand our thinking.
Helen Turnbull (The Illusion of Inclusion: Global Inclusion, Unconscious Bias, and the Bottom Line)
The next archetype, the Empress, is the Catalyst of the Mind, that which acts upon the conscious mind to change it. The fourth being the Emperor, which is the Experience of the Mind, which is that material stored in the unconscious which creates its continuing bias. Am I correct with those statements? Ra I am Ra. Though far too rigid in your statements, you perceive correct relationships. There is a great deal of dynamic interrelationship in these first four archetypes. (79.36) Questioner Would the Hierophant then be somewhat of a governor or sorter of these effects so as to create the proper assimilation by the unconscious of that which comes through the conscious? Ra I am Ra. Although thoughtful, the supposition is incorrect in its heart. (79.37) Questioner What would be the Hierophant? Ra I am Ra. The Hierophant is the Significator of the Body[57] complex, its very nature. We may note that the characteristics of which you speak do have bearing upon the Significator of the Mind complex but are not the heart. The heart of the mind complex is that dynamic entity which absorbs, seeks, and attempts to learn. (79.38) Questioner Then is the Hierophant the link, you might say, between the mind and the body? Ra I am Ra. There is a strong relationship between the Significators of the mind, the body, and the spirit. Your statement is too broad. (79.39) Questioner Let me skip over the Hierophant for a minute because I’m really not understanding that at all, and just ask you if the Lovers represent the merging of the conscious and the unconscious, or a communication between conscious and unconscious? Ra I am Ra. Again, without being at all unperceptive, you miss the heart of this particular archetype which may be more properly called the Transformation of the Mind. (79.40) Questioner Transformation of the mind into what? Ra I am Ra. As you observe Archetype Six you may see the student of the mysteries being transformed by the need to choose betwixt the light and the dark in mind. (79.41) Questioner Would the Conqueror, or Chariot, then, represent the culmination of the action of the first six archetypes into a conquering of the mental processes, even possibly removing the veil? Ra I am Ra. This is most perceptive. The Archetype Seven is one difficult to enunciate. We may call it the Path, the Way, or the Great Way of the Mind. Its foundation is a reflection and substantial summary of Archetypes One through Six. One may also see the Way of the Mind as showing the kingdom or fruits of appropriate travel through the mind in that the mind continues to move as majestically through the material it conceives of as a chariot drawn by royal lions or steeds. At this time we would suggest one more full query, for this instrument is experiencing some distortions towards pain. (79.42) Questioner Then I will just ask for the one of the archetypes which I am least understanding at this point, if I can use that word at all. I am still very much in the dark, so to speak, with respect to the Hierophant and precisely what it is. Could you give me some other indication of what that is, please? Ra I am Ra. You have been most interested in the Significator which must needs become complex. The Hierophant is the original archetype of mind which has been made complex through the subtile movements of the conscious and unconscious.[58] The complexities of mind were evolved rather than the simple melding of experience from Potentiator to Matrix. The mind itself became an actor possessed of free will and, more especially, will. As the Significator of the mind, the Hierophant has the will to know, but what shall it do with its knowledge, and for what reasons does it seek? The potential[s] of a complex significator are manifold.
Donald Tully Elkins (The Ra Contact: Teaching the Law of One: Volume 2)
In spite of these dangers, I do not see why I should entirely forgo the fun of handling these methods. For just like the psycho-analysts, the people to whom psycho-analysis applies best,7 the socio-analysts invite the application of their own methods to themselves with an almost irresistible hospitality. For is not their description of an intelligentsia which is only loosely anchored in tradition a very neat description of their own social group? And is it not also clear that, assuming the theory of total ideologies to be correct, it would be part of every total ideology to believe that one’s own group was free from bias, and was indeed that body of the elect which alone was capable of objectivity? Is it not, therefore, to be expected, always assuming the truth of this theory, that those who hold it will unconsciously deceive themselves by producing an amendment to the theory in order to establish the objectivity of their own views? Can we, then, take seriously their claim that by their sociological self-analysis they have reached a higher degree of objectivity; and their claim that socio-analysis can cast out a total ideology? But we could even ask whether the whole theory is not simply the expression of the class interest of this particular group; of an intelligentsia only loosely anchored in tradition, though just firmly enough to speak Hegelian as their mother tongue. How little the sociologists of knowledge have succeeded in socio-therapy, that is to say, in eradicating their own total ideology, will be particularly obvious if we consider their relation to Hegel. For they have no idea that they are just repeating him; on the contrary, they believe not only that they have outgrown him, but also that they have successfully seen through him, socio-analysed him; and that they can now look at him, not from any particular social habitat, but objectively, from a superior elevation. This palpable failure in self-analysis tells us enough.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies (New One-Volume Edition))
And you can't get rid of your own unconscious bias, no matter how hard you try. Scientists have investigated all sorts of interventions, without success.
Joanne Lipman (That's What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) about Working Together)
For all the ways this book has shown how the rational mind is unequal to the machinations of the hidden brain, this is also a book that argues that reason is our only bulwark against bias.
Shankar Vedantam (The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives)
The anatomy of the human mind is reportedly responsible for how our conscious and unconscious mind is organized. The physiological contours of the human mind are responsible for interpreting and comprehending the physical world that surrounds us employing our five basic senses as its datum antennas. The gears of the human mind work to classify our perceptions into five basic orders: animals, plants, tools, natural objects, and people. How a person’s brain perceives the tangible world and interprets ongoing interactions with its functional apparatus becomes the operating representation of each person’s physical reality. People rely upon their physical reality to make life-altering decisions.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
[I]t is self-evident that people are neither fully rational nor completely selfish, and that their tastes are anything but stable.” Through decades of research with Tversky, Kahneman proved that humans all suffer from Cognitive Bias, that is, unconscious—and irrational—brain processes that literally distort the way we see the world.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
So, come on, white men! Let’s just acknowledge that we’re all flawed, biased and sometimes irrational, and that we can do more to resist unconscious bias. That means trying not to hire people just because they look like us, avoiding telling a young girl she’s “beautiful” while her brother is “smart.” It means acknowledging systematic bias as a step toward correcting it.
Anonymous
Human beings are consistently, routinely, and profoundly biased. We not only are profoundly biased, but we also almost never know we are being biased. The fact that we don’t know it results in behaviors that not only include the ones described previously, but, as we’ll
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
Human beings are consistently, routinely, and profoundly biased. We not only are profoundly biased, but we also almost never know we are being biased. The fact that we don’t know it results in behaviors that not only include the ones described previously, but, as we’ll discuss later, have even contributed to the deaths of innocent people.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
According to this multi-layered curriculum theory, we end up with a curriculum written and handed down, taught by different teachers with their own techniques and backgrounds, littered with unconscious bias, and then tested in ways that have been proven to favor some students over others.
Erin Osborne (What They Don't Teach You: Hundreds of teachers reveal what it's like working in public elementary schools today)
Our conscious motivations, ideas, and beliefs are a blend of false information, biases, irrational passions, rationalizations, prejudices, in which morsels of truth swim around and give the reassurance albeit false, that the whole mixture is real and true. The thinking processes attempt to organize this whole cesspool of illusions according to the laws of plausibility. This level of consciousness is supposed to reflect reality; it is the map we use for organizing our life. —Erich Fromm, German psychologist and psychoanalyst
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
In this regard, professionals of color may hold an edge. In focus groups we conducted, countless participants confirmed that being a minority is itself a relentless exercise in reading others in order to anticipate and overcome reflexive bias or unconscious resistance.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett (Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success)
Women getting run out of tech matters, because it’s where so much of the wealth creation and opportunity in the economy is right now. And it purports to be more of a meritocracy. So if it’s not simply a case of needing more women to enter the tech funnel, what gives? Is the tech industry just full of a ton of sexist bigots? Some, sure. Trust me, I know them. But the far more pervasive problem is one of unconscious bias and an overreliance on pattern recognition. VCs tend to rely on a gut feeling about an entrepreneur because they frequently don’t have a business or product yet to evaluate, or in many cases, even a track record to look at. And when you don’t have written-out, quantifiable qualifications to hire based on, bias creeps in.
Sarah Lacy (A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman's Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy)
Staff and faculty of color regularly play an additional role of caring for students of color who have often been the recipients of unconscious bias, racism, and microaggressions on campus.
Karen A Longman (Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, and the Future of Christian Higher Education)
These factors point to one of the fundamentals of leadership: the greater the scope of a decision and the more variables and uncertainties there are, the more important it is for the leader to be aware of unconscious drives and biases that could affect emotions, reason, and intuition.
Ram Charan (The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers)
In order to make this point, we need to talk about race openly and honestly. We must stop debating crime policy as though it were purely about crime. People must come to understand the racial history and origins of mass incarceration—the many ways our conscious and unconscious biases have distorted our judgments over the years about what is fair, appropriate, and constructive when responding to drug use and drug crime. We must come to see, too, how our economic insecurities and racial resentments have been exploited for political gain, and how this manipulation has caused suffering for people of all colors. Finally, we must admit, out loud, that it was because of race that we didn’t care much what happened to “those people” and imagined the worst possible things about them. The fact that our lack of care and concern may have been, at times, unintentional or unconscious does not mitigate our crime—if we refuse, when given the chance, to make amends.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
We unfortunately seem to be unconsciously biased against those in society who come out on the bottom. We
Leonard Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives)
Most striking, perhaps, is the overwhelming evidence that implicit bias measures are disassociated from explicit bias measures.45 In other words, the fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may even have black friends or relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias. Implicit bias tests may still show that you hold negative attitudes and stereotypes about blacks, even though you do not believe you do and do not want to.46
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Finally, for the same criminal conviction, the more stereotypically African a black individual’s facial features, the longer the sentence.15 In contrast, juries view black (but not white) male defendants more favorably if they’re wearing big, clunky glasses; some defense attorneys even exploit this “nerd defense” by accessorizing their clients with fake glasses, and prosecuting attorneys ask whether those dorky glasses are real. In other words, when blind, impartial justice is supposedly being administered, jurors are unconsciously biased by racial stereotypes of someone’s face.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Cognitive Bias, that is, unconscious—and irrational—brain processes that literally distort the way we see the world.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Some psychiatric clinicians appear to be so biologically or behaviorally oriented that they do not believe in the unconscious. Others have been so indoctrinated in the Freudian psychoanalytic model that they believe all accounts of incest are fantasy. A few of the older clinicians allow pride to get in their way and refuse to believe that they may have missed the diagnosis [of Dissociative Identity Disorder] in some of their patients.
Philip M. Coons
The unassailability of the biblical text is a faith commitment, not a historical fact. The attempt to recover historical fact means relinquishing, at least for this purpose, the faith commitments that preclude any challenge to the received tradition. This means recognizing that the Bible is a product of human minds, and that, like all literature, it is subject to the biases and agendas, both conscious and unconscious, of its authors. The critical study of the Bible entails pressing against those biases, peeling back those agendas.
Joel S. Baden (The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero)
I’ve written about unconscious bias before, and I encourage you to test yourself at implicit.harvard.edu. It’s sobering to discover that whatever you believe intellectually, you’re biased about race, gender, age or disability.
Anonymous
One of the most powerful ways we do this is by creating stereotypes. We begin to learn how to “read” different kinds of people. As we encounter them, we instantly compare them to other people we have encountered before. Were the others friendly, safe, and welcoming? If so, then we are likely to feel comfortable with these individuals. On the other hand, were the others hostile or unfriendly? Then the mind sends a different message: Be careful! Stereotypes provide a shortcut that helps us navigate through our world more quickly, more efficiently, and, our minds believe, more safely.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
New research suggests that we may hold an unconscious bias against creative ideas much like we do in cases of racism or phobias.
Anonymous
the fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may even have black friends or relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias. Implicit bias tests may still show that you hold negative attitudes and stereotypes about blacks, even though you do not believe you do and do not want to.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
One of the most powerful ways we do this is by creating stereotypes. We begin to learn how to “read” different kinds of people. As we encounter them, we instantly compare them to other people we have encountered before. Were the others friendly, safe, and welcoming? If so, then we are likely to feel comfortable with these individuals. On the other hand, were the others hostile or unfriendly? Then the mind sends a different message: Be careful! Stereotypes provide a shortcut that helps us navigate through our world more quickly, more efficiently, and, our minds believe, more safely. Of course, even when we haven’t encountered a particular kind of person before, we may have the same judgments and assessments based on things that we have heard or learned about “people like that.” As far back as 1906, William Graham Sumner, the first person to hold an academic chair in sociology at Yale University, identified the phenomenon of “in-group/out-group bias.” Sumner wrote that “each group nourishes its own pride and vanity, boasts itself superior, exists in its own divinities, and looks with contempt on outsiders.”[6] This phenomenon is magnified when the “in” group is the dominant or majority culture in a particular circumstance.
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
Intuition matters but, pay more attention to the unconscious bias.
Pearl Zhu (Talent Master: 199+ Questions to See Talent from Different Angles)
argues the evolutionary psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer: we have survived and thrived not despite our cognitive biases but because of them. These so-called biases are the underpinnings of our heuristics, the unconscious mental shortcuts we take every time we use a ‘rule of thumb’ to make decisions. Over millennia, the human brain has evolved to rely on quick decision-making tools in a fast-moving and uncertain world, and in many contexts those heuristics lead us to make better decisions than exact calculations would do.
Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist)
A thought experiment is in order: If American blacks acted en masse like Asian Americans for ten years in all things relevant to economic success—if they had similar rates of school attendance, paying attention in class, doing homework and studying for exams, staying away from crime, persisting in a job, and avoiding out-of-wedlock childbearing—and we still saw racial differences in income, professional status, and incarceration rates, then it would be well justified to seek an explanation in unconscious prejudice. But as long as the behavioral disparities remain so great, the minute distinctions of the IAT are a sideshow. America has an appalling history of racism and brutal subjugation, and we should always be vigilant against any recurrence of that history. But the most influential sectors of our economy today practice preferences in favor of blacks. The main obstacles to racial equality at present lie not in implicit bias but in culture and behavior.
Heather Mac Donald (The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture)
I don’t think it’s coincidental that the term “microaggression” emerged in popularity during the so-called post-racial era that some people assumed we’d entered with the election of the first Black president. The word “racism” went out of fashion in the liberal haze of racial progress—Obama’s political brand—and conservatives started to treat racism as the equivalent to the N-word, a vicious pejorative rather than a descriptive term. With the word itself becoming radioactive to some, passé to others, some well-meaning Americans started consciously and perhaps unconsciously looking for other terms to identify racism. “Microaggression” became part of a whole vocabulary of old and new words—like “cultural wars” and “stereotype” and “implicit bias” and “economic anxiety” and “tribalism”—that made it easier to talk about or around the R-word. I do not use “microaggression” anymore. I detest the post-racial platform that supported its sudden popularity. I detest its component parts—“micro” and “aggression.” A persistent daily low hum of racist abuse is not minor. I use the term “abuse” because aggression is not as exacting a term.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
The problem here is that, as humans, we have an authority bias that’s incredibly strong and unconscious—if a superior tells you to do something, by God we tend to follow it, even when it’s wrong. Having one person tell other people what to do is not a reliable way to make good decisions. So how do you create conditions where that doesn’t happen, where you develop a hive mind? How do you develop ways to challenge each other, ask the right questions, and never defer to authority? We’re trying to create leaders among leaders.
Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)
They are both in and of a society that is structurally racist, and so it isn’t surprising when these unconscious biases seep out into the work they do when they interact with the general public. With a bias this entrenched, in too many levels of society, our black man can try his hardest, but he is essentially playing a rigged game. He may be told by his parents and peers that if he works hard enough, he can overcome anything. But the evidence shows that that is not true, and that those who do are exceptional to be succeeding in an environment that is set up for them to fail.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
There isn’t anything notably, individually racist about the people who work in all of the institutions he interacts with. Some of these people will be black themselves. But it doesn’t really matter what race they are. They are both in and of a society that is structurally racist, and so it isn’t surprising when these unconscious biases seep out into the work they do when they interact with the general public. With a bias this entrenched, in too many levels of society, our black man can try his hardest, but he is essentially playing a rigged game.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
I think we should first address conscious and unconscious bias. I believe these conjoined twins set the stage for how office politics erode the workplace, leaving a lot of talented and tenured people overlooked and undervalued—more than likely people of color.
Minda Harts (The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table)
largely unconscious, and herein lies the deepest challenge—the defensiveness that ensues upon any suggestion of racial bias.4
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Racial bias is largely unconscious, and herein lies the deepest challenge—the defensiveness that ensues upon any suggestion of racial bias.4 This defensiveness is classic white fragility because it protects our racial bias while simultaneously affirming our identities as open-minded.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
humans all suffer from Cognitive Bias, that is, unconscious—and irrational—brain processes that literally distort the way we see the world. Kahneman and Tversky discovered more than 150 of them.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Possessing bias is part and parcel of being human. And the more we think we are immune to it, the greater the likelihood that our own biases will be invisible or unconscious to us!
Howard J. Ross (Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives)
Ginsburg believes that the Constitution should be interpreted to root out unconscious biases that subordinate women. But as she recognized decades ago, true equality requires that men and women work together to root out unconscious bias in families and in the workplace.
Jeffrey Rosen (Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law)
Racial bias is largely unconscious, and herein lies the deepest challenge—the defensiveness that ensues upon any suggestion of racial bias.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
if racism isn’t structural – enforced by institutions, by unconscious bias, by the diminishment of its victims’ life chances – is it really racism?
Matt Greene (Jew[ish])
What kind of person is likely to carry this kind of unconscious bias? “This is a wonderful person,” Williams said, “who has sympathy for the bad things that have happened in the past. But that person is still an American and has been fed the larger stereotypes of blacks that are deeply embedded in the culture of this society. So, despite holding no explicit racial prejudices, they nonetheless hold implicit bias that’s deep in their subconscious.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
We cannot possibly take in all of the stimuli with which we are constantly bombarded. Based on our goals and our expectations, we make choices—often unconsciously—about what we attend to and what we do not.
Jennifer L. Eberhardt (Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do)
every résumé received from a female applicant automatically led to a phone screen. It’s important to say that this solution did not lower the hiring bar, nor did it favor unqualified candidates on the basis of gender. If the candidate did not pass the phone screen, they would not move forward to the next step in the process. This technique made it clear that when a candidate’s name implied the gender as female, an unconscious bias had been affecting the résumé screening. The result was that well-qualified female candidates were apparently being rejected too early in the process.
Colin Bryar (Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon)
confirmation bias means we look for and find evidence to support our beliefs. We cherry-pick information that confirms what we already know, while ignoring (consciously and unconsciously) information that challenges our existing beliefs.
Marie Forleo (Everything is Figureoutable)