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23rd Annual Lecture
Mahzarin R. Banaji
Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics
Department of Psychology
Friday, April 16, 2021
via Zoom Webinar
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People
Mahzarin Banaji and her colleague coined the term “implicit bias” in the mid-1990s to refer to behavior that occurs without conscious awareness. Today, Professor Banaji is Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards for her scientific contributions.
The purpose of the seminar, Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, is to reveal the surprising and even perplexing ways in which we make errors in assessing and evaluating others when we recruit and hire, onboard and promote, lead teams, undertake succession planning, and work on behalf of our clients or the public we serve. It is Professor Banaji’s belief that people intend well and that the inconsistency we see, between values and behavior, comes from a lack of awareness. But because implicit bias is pervasive, we must rely on scientific evidence to “outsmart” our minds. If we do so, we will be more likely to reach the life goals we have chosen for ourselves and to serve better the organizations for which we work.