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Rental Partner: University of Washington Office of Public Lectures presents

Mahzarin Banaji

Hidden Biases of Good People

Tuesday, April 30
6:30 pm PDT


The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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University of Washington Office of Public Lectures

(206) 543-5900
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For questions about this event, please contact the organizer at the email above or call (206) 543-5900.


All humans intend to make choices and decisions that obey the virtues of accuracy and fairness. Psychological research from the last fifty years has challenged the possibility that we, in fact, do so. Specifically, we now know that our actions are often inconsistent with our values and obstruct the very goals we strive for in our work and life. We now know that these errors are a function of our evolution as humans, the architecture of our minds, and the social contexts in which our decisions unfold. Our behavior can be inconsistent with our values because our decisions are driven by implicit preferences and beliefs that feed into our explicit choices.

Registration opens March 13, 2024.

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This lecture will provide insights into how our minds work, and the often surprising and even perplexing manner by which implicit bias operates. The overarching purpose of the seminar is to reveal the mental blind spots that keep us from reaching our goals, especially in decisions that involve attention to social group qualities rather than the person. Professor Banaji will advance ideas about what implicit bias is, where it comes from, where its impact can be seen, what it predicts, and whether it is malleable. The overarching purpose is to understand implicit bias (a term she and her colleagues coined in the early 1990s) so that we can outsmart it – for our own good and that of our society and its future.

Mahzarin Banaji, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University, investigates the disparities between conscious and implicit attitudes and beliefs, focusing on social group attitudes and behaviors in adults and children. As the founder of outsmartingimplicitbias.org and co-author of Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Banaji applies evidence from social cognition science to improve organizational practices. With a prestigious career spanning Yale and Harvard, Banaji has garnered numerous awards and fellowships, including induction into the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For questions about this event, please contact lectures@uw.edu or call (206) 543-5900.

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