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"Poignant....important and illuminating."—The New York Times Book Review

"Groundbreaking."—Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy

From one of the world’s leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time


How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society—in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. Racial bias is a problem that we all have a role to play in solving.

Review

Winner of the Williams James Book Award from the American Psychological Association
Winner of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Book Prize
Nonfiction Runner-Up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

"A fascinating new book... [Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is] a genius." —Trevor Noah, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

"Groundbreaking." Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy

“Powerful…useful for those new to the topic as well as those well-versed in the topic...Eberhardt abandons the jargon-speak of academic research and speaks to the reader’s head, heart, and soul...[and] will make you think about the news, your neighborhood, your work place and yourself with fresh eyes.” —Forbes

"An immensely informative and insightful analysis of race-based stereotypes. [Eberhardt] also offers practical suggestions for managing mechanisms of prejudice that ''are rooted in the structures of our brains.''” —Psychology Today

"Explores the reasons for bias of all kinds — racial, religious, gender and more — and lays out research-based strategies that can short-circuit our initial prejudices." —New York Post

"[A] timely, exhaustive investigation of how bias infiltrates every sector of public and private life... Eberhardt offers tips for reforming business practices, police departments, and day-to-day interactions in pursuit of a fairer world for everyone." Esquire.com

"Combining storytelling with a deep dive into the science of implicit bias, Eberhardt explains how bias and prejudice form—and she describes their pernicious effects on all of us. But she doesn’t stop at the problem: Her book shines a spotlight on what we can do to fight bias at a personal and institutional level.” —Greater Good Magazine

“Compelling and provocative, this is a game-changing book about how unconscious racial bias impacts our society and what each of us can do about it.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Jennifer Eberhardt’s work is essential to helping us understand racial inequalities in our country and around the world.” —Michelle Alexander, author of New York Times bestseller The New Jim Crow

"In accessible language and compelling examples, Dr. Eberhardt draws on copious empirical research to challenge the idea of human objectivity and the tragic outcomes of this false belief. ...This book should be required reading for everyone." —Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility

“This book helps us to scientifically view how racial bias works in our own minds and throughout society.  We could not ask for a better guide to understand this reality than Jennifer Eberhardt. Her research reveals critical information that can help leaders better understand how biases can impact our judgment and how we are perceived by the communities we are sworn to serve.” —Kamala D. Harris, United States Senator from California

“Jennifer is one of the great thinkers and one of the great voices of our time…I believe her book will change the conversation on race in our society–and perhaps our society itself.” —Carol Dweck, author of New York Times bestseller Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

“Drawing on her pioneering research, Jennifer Eberhardt’s new book offers a powerful exploration of how racial bias seeps into our classrooms, college campuses, police departments, and businesses.” —Bruce Western, author of Punishment and Inequality in America and Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

Biased is deeply relevant to education and other fields of work, within the U.S. and globally. Dr. Eberhardt’s work offers a touchstone for educators, leaders, lawmakers, and all those who want a society that serves everyone equally.” —Linda Darling-Hammond, author of The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine our Future

“This is not someone who is just doing work in the ivory tower of a university. This is someone who is really out in the trenches working with police departments and the criminal justice system.” —Chris Magnus, Chief of Police, Tucson, Arizona

“She is saying things that make people uncomfortable, but she has the evidence to back up the reality of what’s she’s describing… [her work is]…original, provocative, and rigorous. I think she has changed the way we all think about the American dilemma of race.” —Susan Fiske, Psychologist, Princeton University 
 
“The hope for progress is greatly increased by Jennifer Eberhardt''s groundbreaking new book on implicit bias. Biased presents the science of bias with rare insight and accessibility, but it is also a work with the power and craft to make us see why overcoming racial bias is so critical." —Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy

About the Author

Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur "genius" grant. She has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was named one of Foreign Policy''s 100 Leading Global Thinkers. She is co-founder and co-director of SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions), a Stanford Center that brings together researchers and practitioners to address significant social problems.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

I walked in through a sea of navy-blue uniforms. The auditorium was filled to capacity, with 132 sworn members of the Oakland Police Department sitting motionless with perfect posture: erect, arms crossed. As I walked down the aisle to take the stage, I could not see their faces, but I already knew what they were thinking.

The road to this particular presentation was a long one. The police force was still recovering from a major scandal that had left a legacy of distrust in the community. I was just wrapping up a two-year report that was about to be released to the public—one of the final steps required by the federal oversight team brought in to investigate ex- tensive civil rights violations by members of this department—and I didn’t want the police to be blindsided by our findings. Many in the community were calling for an end to racial profiling. They wanted fair treatment. They were demanding justice. Many in the police de- partment felt they were delivering that justice every day—sometimes at great sacrifice. I wanted to help the officers to understand the in- sidious ways in which implicit bias could act on human decision mak- ing, despite the officers’ noble intentions and deliberate efforts.
 
Reporters were pressuring me to discuss our findings before the report was released, but I couldn’t; there was too much at stake. I first wanted the department to be prepared and to be willing to work with our team as they crafted solutions to any problems the report would reveal.
I was tired—exhausted, really—from working on the report around the clock for months, to the neglect of my teaching, my hus- band, and our three sons. As I marched up the aisle, I could feel a chill in the room.

I made it to the stage.  Although not exactly as  modern or as high-tech as the classrooms at Stanford where I normally taught, the auditorium—with its wood-paneled walls and rows of cushioned red metal chairs—seemed familiar enough. I looked out at the faces in the crowd, searching for a connection. I found every face expression- less, their eyes distant. Each officer wore a crisp, clean uniform over a bulletproof vest. At the waist was a duty belt holding the essential tools of their trade: handcuffs, Taser, OC pepper spray, and Glock 17 9 mm firearm. The officers looked ready for duty, but no one seemed ready to engage with me.

For the first time in my career, I was facing a hostile crowd. There was no booing or yelling. There were no verbal complaints of any kind—just a steely silence that was more eloquent than any words. I tried to make a few jokes. Nothing landed. I led them through an interactive “shoot–don’t shoot” simulation, which was always a crowd- pleaser. The exercise fell flat. I showed a few movie clips that in other places triggered bursts of laughter. Still nothing.

Finally, I caught the eye of LeRonne Armstrong, a captain whom I’d worked with before on trainings designed to improve police- community relations. I knew he understood the importance of delivering this message to law enforcement. I was relieved to see his face, until I realized that his expression was one of concern for me. He was looking around the crowd with the same worry I was trying not to let show onstage. I saw him shifting uncomfortably in his seat. How, I wondered, can I possibly deliver this training ten more times to units across the department when I’m not really sure whether I can make it through this first session?

Eventually, I stopped with the lessons, and the data graphs, and the images, and the jokes, and the movie clips. I decided to veer off my usual script and share a personal story.

I explained that some years ago my son Everett and I were on a plane. He was five years old, wide-eyed, and trying to take it all in. He looked around and saw a black passenger. He said, “Hey, that guy looks like Daddy.” I looked at the man, and truth be told, he did not look anything like Daddy—not in any way. I looked around for any- one else Everett might be referring to. But there was only one black man on the plane.

I couldn’t  help but be struck  by the irony: the race researcher having to explain to her own black child that not all black people look alike. But then I paused and thought about the fact that kids see the world differently from adults. Maybe Everett was seeing something that I missed. I decided to take another look.

I checked the guy’s height. No resemblance there. He was several inches shorter than my husband. I studied his face. There was nothing in his features  that looked familiar. I looked at his skin  color. No similarity there either. Then I took a look at his hair. This man had dreadlocks flowing down his back. Everett’s father is bald.

I gathered my thoughts and turned to my son, prepared to lecture him in the way that I might inform an unobservant student in my class. But before I could begin, he looked up at me and said, “I hope that man doesn’t rob the plane.”
 
Maybe I didn’t get that right. “What did you say?” I asked him, wishing I had not heard what I heard. And he said it again, as inno- cently and as sweetly  as you can imagine from  a bright-eyed boy trying to understand the world: “I hope he doesn’t rob the plane.”

I was on the brink of being upset. “Why would you say that?” I asked as gently as I could. “You know Daddy wouldn’t rob a plane.” “Yes,” he said. “I know.”

“Well, why did you say that?” This time my voice dropped an octave and turned sharp.
Everett looked up at me with a really sad face and said very sol- emnly, “I don’t know why I said that. I don’t know why I was think- ing that.”

Just telling that story reminded me of how much that moment hurt. I took a deep breath, and when I looked back out at the crowd in the auditorium, I saw that the expressions had changed. Their eyes had softened. They were no longer uniformed police officers, and I was no longer a university researcher. We were parents, unable to pro- tect our children from a world that is often bewildering and frighten- ing, a world that influences them so profoundly, so insidiously, and so unconsciously that they—and we—don’t know why we think the way we do.

With a heavy heart, I continued with my point: “We are living with such severe racial stratification that even a five-year-old can tell us what’s supposed to happen next. Even with no malice—even with no hatred—the black-crime association made its way into the mind of my five-year-old son, into all of our children, into all of us.”

I finished the training and invited the audience to come up to ask questions or share their stories.
I had been warned that no one would, but one officer did stay behind in the emptying auditorium. As he approached the stage, I stepped down to meet him. “Your story about your son on the plane reminded me of an experience I had on the street. It’s something I haven’t thought about in a long time,” the of- ficer told me.

“I was out one day, working undercover,” the officer said, “and I saw a guy, at a distance, who didn’t look right. This guy looked similar to me—you know, black, same build, same height. But this guy had a scruffy beard, unkempt hair, ripped clothes, and he looked like he was up to no good. The guy began approaching me, and as he was getting closer, I had a feeling that he had a gun on him. Some- thing’s off with this guy, I thought. This dude ain’t right.

“So the guy is coming down a hill, near the front of a nice office building—one of those big office towers with glass walls. And as the guy is approaching, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was armed and dangerous.

“As I got closer to the building, I lost him for a second and I began to feel panicked. Suddenly I see the guy again, but this time he is inside the office building. I could see the guy clearly through the glass wall. He was walking inside the building—in the same direction and at the same pace as I was walking.

“Something was wrong. When I quickened my pace, I could see him quicken his pace. And finally, I decided to stop abruptly, turn, and confront the guy.

“He stops too, and I look at him face-to-face,” the officer said to me. “And when I look in his eyes, a shock went through me. I real- ized that I was staring at myself. I was the person I feared. I was star- ing at my own reflection through the mirrored wall. That entire time, I was tailing myself; I was profiling myself.”

The stories kept coming. At every single session, someone came up and told me a story—stories that enriched my understanding not only of police-community relations but also of our human predicament.
 
This book is an examination of implicit bias—what it is, where it comes from, how it affects us, and how we can address it. Implicit bias is not a new way of calling someone a racist. In fact, you don’t have to be a racist at all to be influenced by it. Implicit bias is a kind of distorting lens that’s a product of both the architecture of our brain and the disparities in our society.

We all have ideas about race, even the most open-minded among us. Those ideas have the power to bias our perception, our attention, our memory, and our actions—all despite our conscious awareness or deliberate intentions. Our ideas about race are shaped by the stereo- types to which we are exposed on a daily basis. And one of the strongest stereotypes in American society associates blacks with criminality.

This stereotypic association is so powerful that the mere presence of a black face, even one that appears so fleetingly we are unaware of it, can cause us to see weapons more quickly—or to imagine weapons that are not there. The mere thought of violent crime can lead us to shift our eyes away from a white face and toward a black face. And although looking black is not a crime, jurors are more likely to deliver a death sentence to black felons who have stereotypically black facial features than to those who do not, at least when their victims are white.

Bias can lead to racial disparities in everything from preschool suspensions  to corporate leadership.  And the disparities  themselves then bolster our biases. For example, knowing that a disproportionate amount of violent crime is committed by young black men can bias judgments about black people more generally. That affects how blacks are seen in all manner of situations—whether sitting in a classroom or a coffee shop, whether leading a Fortune 500 company or fighting a California wildfire. The stereotypes shadow them.

In this book, I’ll show you the many surprising places and ways that racial bias affects all sorts of decisions we make during the normal course of our lives—the homes we buy, the people we hire, the way we treat our neighbors. Bias is not limited to one domain of life. It is not limited to one profession, one race, or one country. It is also not limited to one stereotypic association. This book grew from my re- search on the black-crime association, yet it is not the only association that matters and blacks are not the only group affected. Probing the role of implicit bias in the criminal justice arena can teach us broader lessons about who we are, where we’ve been, and what we can be- come, regardless of our social group or the groups toward which we may be biased.

People can hold biases based on all sorts of characteristics—skin color, age, weight, ethnic origin, accent, disability, height, gender. I talk a lot about race, specifically about blacks and whites,  because those two groups have been studied the most by researchers investi- gating bias. And because the racial dynamics between blacks and whites are dramatic, consequential,  and enduring. In the United  States, those tensions over centuries have even set the tone for how other social groups are regarded.

Confronting implicit bias requires us to look in the mirror. To understand the influence of implicit racial bias requires us to stare into our own eyes—much as the undercover police officer who found that he had been tailing himself had done—to face how readily stereo- types and unconscious associations can shape our reality. By acknowl- edging the distorting lens of fear and bias, we move one step closer to clearly seeing each other. And we move one step closer to clearly seeing the social harms—the devastation—that bias can leave in its wake.

Neither our evolutionary path nor our present culture dooms us to be held hostage by bias. Change requires a kind of open-minded attention that is well within our reach. There are successful approaches we can learn from and new ways of thinking that we can build upon, whether we are trying to change ourselves or the settings where we live, work, and learn.

This book is a representation of the journey I have taken—the unexpected findings I have uncovered, the stories I have heard, the struggles I have encountered, and the triumphs I have been buttressed by. I invite you to join me.

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Top reviews from the United States

Bradley S Kelly
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Just coming to the discussion? This is where to start!
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2019
Over the past several months I''ve read a few books on racism. From a Christian perspective: "The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation" Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker "One Blood: Parting words to the church on race" John. M. Perkins "From Every... See more
Over the past several months I''ve read a few books on racism.

From a Christian perspective:
"The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation" Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker
"One Blood: Parting words to the church on race" John. M. Perkins
"From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race" J. Daniel Hays

From a non-Christian perspective:
"Stamped from the Beginning" Ibram X. Kendi
"White Fragility" by Robin DeAngelo
"Biased: Uncovering Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What we See, Think, and Do" Jennifer L. Eberhardt

I really really enjoyed "Biased." If someone (white) came to me and asked where he should start reading on the issue of race, I would start him with "Biased."

No one likes to be called a racist...so might I interest you in a little bit of biased? Guess what, you are prone to think better of people who look like you. Guess what, everyone else is too. This book does a great job of exposing deep-seated bias without coming across as demonizing people as being closeted Klan members.

If you are at all interested or wondering about the race discussion in America, this is where I think you should start.
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Dolly Chugh
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A book that will speak to your head, heart, and soul
Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2019
A book that will speak to your head, heart, and soul, written by Macarthur Genius Grant winner and Stanford psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt. I don''t think I will ever forget some of the stories she shared. And, despite being a researcher in this field, there are... See more
A book that will speak to your head, heart, and soul, written by Macarthur Genius Grant winner and Stanford psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt. I don''t think I will ever forget some of the stories she shared. And, despite being a researcher in this field, there are studies she describes which are either new to me or resonating in new ways through her explanations. Professor Eberhardt is a masterful writer and teacher, who somehow walks the tightrope of being both scientific and personal in her work. I feel very lucky to have seen an advance galley of this book and highly recommend this book.
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Jason Park
5.0 out of 5 stars
A thought-provoking investigation of bias that could be a classic in cognitive and social psychology
Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2019
Human psychology is both wonderful and confounding. Psychology was my first love in the social sciences. It was my undergraduate focus and the discipline in which I conducted my first professional-quality research. It still enraptures me today, and I can’t describe my... See more
Human psychology is both wonderful and confounding. Psychology was my first love in the social sciences. It was my undergraduate focus and the discipline in which I conducted my first professional-quality research. It still enraptures me today, and I can’t describe my excitement to finally be teaching psychology for the first time this fall. At the same time, studying the human mind at this level can be a sobering, morale-squashing endeavor. But it is never hopeless. Psychology will not always give you the answers, but as a science it can guide you in the right direction, slowly but surely. That makes psychology hopeful, even when surveying the darkest corners of the human condition.

Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD captures this tension exquisitely in her new book (releasing tomorrow, March 26), Biased. She takes on the subject of bias in the context of police shootings and other instances of inherent bias in today’s culture. This means that the primary focus is on racial bias and stereotypes, and for good reason: Eberhardt also has personal experience that speaks volumes on this subject. However, Eberhardt does not limit her study to racial bias but also offers examples and insight on gender bias as well. It is a comprehensive view of cognitive bias with a distinct focus.

Eberhardt uses history in order to both portray racial bias and speak on the development of the field of cognitive bias research in the social sciences. She speaks in depth on Social Darwinism and other theories that feed on cognitive bias (subjects that need more direct discussion in our current era), and in order to situate the subject in its historical context she discusses the social scientist Walter Lippman at length. Lippman (who displayed a bit of bias himself throughout his career) was the first to apply the idea of “stereotyping” in the social sciences. Eberhardt quotes Lippman in order to help readers grasp the power of stereotypes:

“There is economy in stereotyping”, he wrote. “For the attempt to see all things freshly and in detail, rather than as types and generalities, is exhausting…. We are not equipped to deal with so much subtlety…. [W]e have to reconstruct it on a simpler model before we can manage with it.”
We stereotype because we’re human and we cannot process data well. It’s simply easier to put things and people into “types and generalities” than it is to process everything separately. And, guess what, a lot of times we are right. But that’s what lulls us into complacency and makes us think our stereotypes are reliable. They are not. They are misleading, dangerous, and destructive. They lead us into bias.

Racial biases seep into every aspect of our lives without our awareness. Eberhardt makes this clear in her original research and relays others’ as well. The following passage contains the most shocking (for me) revelation:

Researchers Max Weisbuch, Kristin Pauker, and Nalini Ambady chose eleven popular television shows that have positive representations of black characters — including CSI and Grey’s Anatomy, where black characters are doctors, police officers, and scientists. The researchers showed study participants ten-second clips of a variety of white characters interacting with the same black character, but with the sound muted and the black characters edited out of the frame. Participants who were unfamiliar with the shows were asked to watch a number of these clips and to rate how much each unseen character was liked and was being treated positively by the white characters on the screen. Sometimes the unseen character was black, and sometimes the unseen character was white. A consistent pattern emerged when the researchers pooled the ratings: participants perceived the unseen black characters in these popular shows to be less liked and treated less positively by the other characters than the unseen white characters. The black characters were surrounded by a cast of white characters who — through their subtle facial expressions and body movements — communicated less regard for them. And the television viewers were affected by this: The more negative the nonverbal actions directed at the unseen black characters, the more antiblack bias the study participants revealed on an implicit association test following the showing. That is, there was evidence for a type of “bias contagion.” The researchers found this to be the case even though the study participants were unable to identify any consistent pattern in treatment of the white and black characters when asked to do so directly.
So where is the hope? Eberhardt devotes much of the book to this question. There are pathways out of bias, although none of them are sure. But there is most definitely hope. Her explorations of tech companies NextDoor and Airbnb share the problems that these giants encountered with respect to stereotyping and bias, but they also provide the solutions that NextDoor and Airbnb employed to successfully combat these issues. I won’t spoil the details of these success stories, but know that they provide hope.

It also seems that exposure and discussion, in the right context, can cure some bias. This does not mean that bias will eventually go away as our world becomes more cosmopolitan. It does not mean we can sit back and wait it out. It means we need to work to provide the environment for such exposure and discussion to occur.

It also means we need to be aware of the bias within ourselves and not think someone is attacking us when it is pointed out, directly or indirectly. I wanted to find a reason to reject the study about TV shows and racial bias, but I found that I couldn’t. Why did it bother me so much? Because if actors in TV shows can display racial bias without even thinking about it, then I could too. Anti-black bias isn’t even contained to white people either (a fact that becomes clear throughout Biased). It is something deeply ingrained in our culture, in our bones, in our unconscious thoughts. Awareness is the first step to dealing with it. Which is why you need to read this book. It haven’t seen or heard of a more coherent and complete discussion of bias. It could be the next classic book in modern cognitive and social psychology.

I received this book as an eARC courtesy of Viking and NetGalley, but my opinions are my own.
67 people found this helpful
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Ken Boetzer/Lisa Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Biased
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2019
Presentation was clear and compelling about the topic of implicit bias. This is a topic of particular importance to our current diverse society, enhancing our awareness of unconscious bias regarding gender and race and other differences. This was an important scholarly... See more
Presentation was clear and compelling about the topic of implicit bias. This is a topic of particular importance to our current diverse society, enhancing our awareness of unconscious bias regarding gender and race and other differences. This was an important scholarly work but easily understood .
30 people found this helpful
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Robert A Haworth
3.0 out of 5 stars
illuminating but flawed
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2019
This book is an examination of implicit bias: what it is, where it comes from, how it affects us, and how we can address it. The book is enlightening for those who think that they themselves have no implicit bias, because the studies that Eberhardt describes destroy that... See more
This book is an examination of implicit bias: what it is, where it comes from, how it affects us, and how we can address it. The book is enlightening for those who think that they themselves have no implicit bias, because the studies that Eberhardt describes destroy that illusion. Strengths of the book in my opinion are:
1. The book is persuasively written concerning the existence of implicit bias, being drawn from Eberhardt’s own research and the research of others.
2. The book is engagingly written, being illustrated by many stories and examples, that she then uses the research to give insight into.
3. As a black female academic who advises law enforcement, Eberhardt writes from both personal experience and with a sympathetic understanding of the perspective of the police who have to deal with the risks of interaction with the public.
4. The book not only establishes the existence of implicit bias, but also identifies several actions shown to be effective in combating its effects: for example, training, personal interactions between people of diverse ethnicity, and (in school) encouragement combined with critique, rather than just critique alone.

Weaknesses of the book in my opinion are:
1. In the chapter “A Bad Dude” Eberhardt uses the example of the shooting of Terence Crutcher to throw light on factors that would have contributed to the over-reaction of the white female police officer when she shot him. Eberhardt delineates five factors related to implicit bias that likely contributed to that tragedy. The chapter title is a quote from an observer in a helicopter who said “That looks like a bad dude”. The full quote should have been “That looks like a bad dude, (could be) he’s on something”. That is, the “bad” was that Crutcher was behaving as if he were on some kind of drug, not that he was black. Analysis of Crutcher’s blood later showed that the observer was correct: Crutcher had high levels of PCP in his blood, sufficient to cause erratic and combative behavior. Eberhardt omitted to mention this, saying only that police reported finding PCP in his car. This sixth factor would also have contributed to the elevated tension in the confrontation between the police officer and Crutcher, and should have been mentioned in the account. Her failure to do this opens Eberhard to charges of shading the story to fit her narrative.
2. Eberhard argues that racial disparities (such as the fact that a disproportionate amount of violent crime is committed by young black men) contribute to implicit bias, which then exacerbates the racial disparities, and so on. It is easy to see how this is a vicious cycle. However, as presented it implies that all that is needed to eliminate the disparities is to eliminate the effects of implicit bias. What is lacking is any consideration of other factors that could also contribute to the disparities, or of the size of the effect that implicit bias has on the disparities. This may be hard to measure. But it is the larger question that should have been asked, even though the focus of the book is on implicit bias.
3. One of the most revealing sentences in the book is about when Eberhard changed schools: “I moved from the need to hide my love for learning to a world where my identity as a learner was routinely nurtured and reinforced”. She recognizes what great dividends this paid for her. But does this speak to the failure of teachers in her previous school, or to the failure of her black community (other students) to support her avocation for learning? Eberhardt describes how teachers’ implicit bias (that black students are more likely to misbehave) can cause black students to pull back from academics, which then increases the frustration of teachers, and so on. This again (see 2 above) begs the question of the extent to which the toxic culture in her first school was the result of the implicit bias of the teachers.
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Jane Fried
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Biased: Uncovering Hidden Prejuudice
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2019
Jennifer Eberhardt is "a story teller as well as a social scientist." This well-researched book speaks to both sides of the reader''s brain - the part that responds to stories and the part that responds to data and trends. She speaks from her own experience as a student, a... See more
Jennifer Eberhardt is "a story teller as well as a social scientist." This well-researched book speaks to both sides of the reader''s brain - the part that responds to stories and the part that responds to data and trends. She speaks from her own experience as a student, a mother and a community member about the pain of realizing how pervasive racism is in our culture. She acknowledges that anyone who grew up in the United States has an embedded worldview that sees Black people as dangerous and white people as normal human beings. Lest anyone challenge this assertion, she backs it up with extensive statistical data about the different ways Black and white people are treated in schools, stores, prisons and almost everywhere else. The writing is clear,compelling and challenging without being too difficult to understand. Anybody who cares about pervasive, unconscious racism and its manifestation in public policy, educational practice and human relationships should read this book and be prepared to think deeply about what to do to bring justice to our social, economic and political world.
18 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is a must read.
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2019
Jennifer Eberhardt is a genius!!! The way she used science to explain the relationship blacks & whites have was awe inspiring. I have never seen anyone break down where the feelings come from that black people feel & why everyone discounts them like she did. This one is... See more
Jennifer Eberhardt is a genius!!! The way she used science to explain the relationship blacks & whites have was awe inspiring. I have never seen anyone break down where the feelings come from that black people feel & why everyone discounts them like she did. This one is going on the coffee table.
23 people found this helpful
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Bassman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Introduction to Implicit Racial Bias
Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2019
I found “Biased” to be an outstanding introduction to the issue of racial biases. As a former contributor and lifelong student in social psychology, I have read numerous books and articles on this topic, but the way Dr. Eberhardt combines research examples with moving... See more
I found “Biased” to be an outstanding introduction to the issue of racial biases. As a former contributor and lifelong student in social psychology, I have read numerous books and articles on this topic, but the way Dr. Eberhardt combines research examples with moving personal stories and relevant historical context made the book a great and unique read. I hope many read this book and gain insight into how implicit biases affect people’s behavior towards members of different racial groups. Although the book focuses on the author’s personal experience and that of other African Americans, it speaks to the more general issue of intergroup prejudice and discrimination. It is a very timely book which addresses the role of both implicit bias and explicit prejudice so clearly operative in the world today.
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Spot Check
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Brilliant insight into the depth of racism
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2021
This is, understandably, written from an American perspective and some of its content (probably) relates particularly to American culture, but it is an eye-opening account of the scale and endurance of racism and racist assumptions. The author writes from her own experience...See more
This is, understandably, written from an American perspective and some of its content (probably) relates particularly to American culture, but it is an eye-opening account of the scale and endurance of racism and racist assumptions. The author writes from her own experience as an African American, but also cites numerous studies and statistics in drawing the full picture. This picture is fascinating and sometimes, frankly, depressing. While she talks about prejudice in general terms, the main focus is on racism against people of African origin, and in particular, black men. Most troubling is the extent of damaging stereotypes held by black people themselves. My starting assumption was that, while racism still exists and needs to be challenged, it is probably not as bad or as extensive as it once was. Now I am not so sure. I confess I haven''t actually finished reading, and I hope she will provide at least some suggested pathways out of our current racist-stained culture before the end. But I thoroughly recommend this book.
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Yours Thankfully
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
You shouldn''t be the same person after reading this great work - there''s more to think about!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2019
A well-evidenced must-read and very eye-opening exposition of a man-made and very universal human predicament - persisting and ever intensifying even in our ''modern times''! The vision clearly set out in this unparalled and great work, amidst the sometimes painful events and...See more
A well-evidenced must-read and very eye-opening exposition of a man-made and very universal human predicament - persisting and ever intensifying even in our ''modern times''! The vision clearly set out in this unparalled and great work, amidst the sometimes painful events and details, is an illumination of how the world can be a much better place for everyone, if we all make deliberate everyday acts to treat everyone in the same way that we would like to be treated ourselves. Unfortunately, we never understand how it''s like to be the ''other'' until we ourselves go through similar life experiences as the ''other''. By the way, at the root and centre of all this is the immutable colour of the skin of the ''other''!
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Miriam
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2019
well witten and very thought provoking!
2 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Clear exposition of the research into Bias linked to the very real consequences.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2020
Highly recommended for anybody interested in the science behind bias, especially those who question the reality or impact it can have. Clearly written, and explained Jennifer Eberhardt makes links between how what is seen the lab and it''s implications for the real world. It...See more
Highly recommended for anybody interested in the science behind bias, especially those who question the reality or impact it can have. Clearly written, and explained Jennifer Eberhardt makes links between how what is seen the lab and it''s implications for the real world. It discusses how to change and challenge implicit bias while acknowledging the complexity in making bias normalised.
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Robert C.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Explains a lot of what you know but don''t understand.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 6, 2019
This book goes deep. Complex issues fully addressed. Should be part of corporate and government HR policies.
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