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Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by [Banaji, Mahzarin R., Greenwald, Anthony G.]
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Editorial Reviews


“Conversational . . . easy to read, and best of all, it has the potential, at least, to change the way you think about yourself.”—Leonard Mlodinow, The New York Review of Books
“Accessible and authoritative . . . While we may not have much power to eradicate our own prejudices, we can counteract them. The first step is to turn a hidden bias into a visible one. . . . What if we’re not the magnanimous people we think we are?”The Washington Post
“Banaji and Greenwald deserve a major award for writing such a lively and engaging book that conveys an important message: Mental processes that we are not aware of can affect what we think and what we do. Blindspot is one of the most illuminating books ever written on this topic.”—Elizabeth F. Loftus, Ph.D., distinguished professor, University of California, Irvine; past president, Association for Psychological Science; author of Eyewitness Testimony
“A wonderfully cogent, socially relevant, and engaging book that helps us think smarter and more humanely. This is psychological science at its best, by two of its shining stars.”—David G. Myers, professor, Hope College, and author of Intuition: Its Powers and Perils
“[The authors’] work has revolutionized social psychology, proving that—unconsciously—people are affected by dangerous stereotypes.”Psychology Today

“An accessible and persuasive account of the causes of stereotyping and discrimination . . . Banaji and Greenwald will keep even nonpsychology students engaged with plenty of self-examinations and compelling elucidations of case studies and experiments.”Publishers Weekly
“A stimulating treatment that should help readers deal with irrational biases that they would otherwise consciously reject.”Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald, collaborators for more than thirty years, are kindred spirits in their search to understand how the mind operates in social contexts. Banaji teaches at Harvard University, Greenwald at the University of Washington. With their colleague Brian Nosek, they are co-developers of the Implicit Association Test, a method that transformed them, their research, and their field of inquiry. In this book, for the first time, research evidence from their labs and from the more than fourteen million completed tests at is made available to the general reader.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5046 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0143422537
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1 edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 12, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WJUC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,249 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Craig Stephans VINE VOICE on January 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Blindspot promises to uncover hidden biases of "Good People." Unfortunately, it just unfolds what has been published ad nauseam in recent decades...the same stuff anyone who would be interested in reading this book has most likely already learned through several means. Studies and reports have indicated through surveys, association tests, etc etc that people have biases. There is nothing new here besides the data of several testing procedures that show biases.

I had hoped that Blindspot might show some creativity and risk taking in showing blindspots that have not been previously discussed or revealed; however, what is discussed are basically the following biases: white v. black, male v. female, heterosexual v. homosexual, and young v. old. (If you are not aware these biases might exist, then you should read this book.) There is nothing outside the box here. Sure the data and findings are supported and relevant, but it is not news. What about something surprising like biases that are not everyday fodder in the media and culture. The authors fail to delve into biases outside those generally labeled as "politically correct."

Are biases ever correct and useful, even life-saving? Do we sometimes ignore our intuition to ill-effect to avoid seeming biased? What is the danger of overcompensating for biases in our culture? The authors avoid these and similar more difficult and innovative questions.

It would have been interesting, for example, for the authors to examine how biases and blindspots are constantly being manipulated, developed, and taken advantage of in our everyday lives in the media, by politicians, educators, advertisers, etc. More discussion about how to identify and correct biases of various types would have been welcome too.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Your brain associates concepts, and it doesn't always tell you. Drs. Banaji and Greenwald give a great illustration to introduce the testing method that forms the basis for most of this book: imagine that you have a deck of shuffled cards, and you're told to separate them into two piles. Hearts and Diamonds go to your left, and Spades and Clubs go to your right. You can probably do that really quickly, without even having to think, since your brain can just associate the pairs into "Red goes left, Black goes right" - but if you have a different command, like Hearts and Spades go to the left, and Diamonds and Clubs go to the right, you will have to slow down a little. It's not that you can't make up an easy rule or that the question is hard, it's just that your brain has been trained to make an easy association among suits of the same color, so you have to put in just a little more thought when grouping ideas that seem to have less in common.

On this principle, the authors explore the Implicit Association Test to determine what other concepts people's brains have developed in associated groups. For example, you may see a list of words, and for every word that is either a Flower or a Pleasant word, you mark the circle on the left, and for every word that is a Bug or an Unpleasant word, you mark the circle on the right. More likely than not, you will be a little faster at this task than if the words were grouped differently. Where the test gets interesting and psychologically useful, of course, is where it touches on issues of race/gender/age/sexuality/etc. Most people, especially in the relatively sophisticated target audience of this book, honestly insist that they do not discriminate, so the benefit of this testing method is that it unearths biases about which the subject is unaware.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Its easy to accept the idea that the majority of brain activity linked to our physical body occurs outside of conscious awareness (getting out of bed in the middle of the night to urinate, driving home from work with no memory of the trip); its difficult to accept the idea that our attitudes and values have a profound influence on how we treat other people but most of this occurs outside of conscious awareness. The scientific evidence on the latter, and the implications of this work, is at the core of this book. If you are interested in the rapid, relatively automatic social judgments that underlie stereotypes, first impressions, prejudice, benevolence, racism, sexism, and ageism, then you need to read this book.

The authors are the world leading experts on the rapid, non-conscious judgments that people make about other people and themselves. Measures of these automatic/implicit/non-conscious mental processes increased exponentially as a result of their groundbreaking work. Readers unfamiliar with their research are offered a number of different tests where they can assess their own hidden biases. I suspect many readers will be surprised, intrigued, and entertained by these assessment devices. They add a new dimension to understanding the subtleties of how one can be vehement about liberal egalitarian values but still hold non-conscious preferences for young white heterosexual men.

The chapters are brief and the prose is fluid. There are virtually no redundancies in this small volume. Unlike most psychologists and behavioral economists, Banaji and Greenwald do not go into painstaking detail about the methodology of specific studies.
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