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Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People Paperback – August 16, 2016
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“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
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345528433
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345528438
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Bantam; Reprint edition (August 16, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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An example of the authors thoughtfulness can be reflected in their use of different colours to label the various types of lies (white, grey, invisible, blue, red, etc) that we often tell, often without being fully conscious of what we are doing. The presentation is vivid, and the ideas easy to commit to memory.
I also find the authors' Implicit Association Test (IAT) to be a rather ingenious device to reflect unconscious associations or biases. As I read from a Kindle edition, I find it rather too tedious to try to produce hard copies of the tests to try out. Instead, I went online to take a couple of the tests. With the hard copies, the authors have emphasised that someone taking the test may opt to start first with the either sheet A or B. That is not possible with the online test. Because I am already in my 60s, I find that my mind has considerable difficulty adjusting to switching from the left column to the right (and vice versa) as I progressed from part 1 to part 7 of the online test. As the test relies on measures of the speed and accuracy in which the subject takes the test, I cannot help but wonder if the difficulty that I have experienced in switching time and again between left and right may not have contributed significantly, but erroneously, to what the test attempts to measure. Perhaps the test procedures can be refined to cater for such possible errors. As it stands, I think the IAT Is best taken as a good reflection of unconscious biases, instead of an accurate measure of such.
A final comment is that while the authors have done an excellent job in detailing various unconscious biases, they have made less headway in coming up with solutions. I find the few solutions discussed in the book to be much less insightful, or impressive.
The book is well-researched and the writing keeps the jargon to a minimum... but the questions it raised about what I believe, about myself and others, will be resonating for a long while.
Overwhelmingly recommended- but be prepared to be uncomfortable
The racial bias test was was even more challenging intellectually. Unlike the authors, I didn't "flunk" it (meaning I don't share the "white" bias of 75% of the test takers, including many people of color). But, how do I reconcile the fact that I have a more positive association to people who do not share my European ancestry? I was actually born in Germany after WWII to German parents who had a pronounced preference for their own kind. I suspect that's the reason for my apparent contrariness, but after reading about the authors' shock at their results, I was definitely concerned that I might also flunk the test, despite my intellectual view on the subject. Along with the relief of "passing" the test came the next question...so, why don't I like my own race...myself?
No, this book doesn't give in-depth explanations for ways to combat test results that don't fit with your intellectual self-image, but it definitely makes you aware that what you think and believe about yourself doesn't necessarily match how you feel innately, and those innate feelings do influence your behavior, despite your belief to the contrary.