The Mind Of The Village: Understanding Our Implicit Biases

Where do our minds live? A simple, scientific response would be to say our minds live in our brains. But Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji says we should not think of our minds as being solitary.

"The individual mind sits in society. And the connection between mind and society is an extremely important one that should not be forgotten."

Banaji is one of the creators of the Implicit Association Test, a widely-used tool for measuring a person's implicit biases. She says it's important to acknowledge that problems rooted in prejudice cannot be solved by finger pointing.

"One of the difficulties we've had in the past is that we have looked at individual people and blamed individual people. We've said if we can remove these 10 bad police officers from this force, we'll be fine. And we know as social scientists - and I believe firmly - that that is no way to change anything."

This week on the Hidden Brain radio show, we examine research about the mind of the village. We'll begin with a focus on police shootings of unarmed black men. Later in the show, we look at how biases affect judges in the U.S.

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This episode includes references to research by Mahzarin Banaji, Eric Hehman, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Joshua Correll, and Maya Sen. You'll also hear from Philip Tetlock.

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