CBA Record July-August 2019
ears to differences, to inconvenient facts, to new information, to truth. Lessening Unconscious Bias’s Influence What should you do to deal with your hidden biases? Let me suggest seven ways to raise your awareness of unconscious bias: 1. Take the Implicit Association Test (IAT), which measures your implicit attitudes and perceptions. It is easy to self-administer, free, and results are confidential: https://implicit.harvard. edu/implicit/takeatest.html 2. Visit the ABA Section of Litigation “Toolbox,” offering information and resources on unconscious bias at https:// www.americanbar.org/groups/litiga- tion/initiatives/task-force-implicit-bias/ implicit-bias-toolbox/ 3. Treat people as individuals rather than labeling them as representatives of a group. This focuses attention away from the group stereotype and on the individual’s distinctive characteristics. 4. Seek out opportunities to interact with members of groups that differ from your own, and develop cross-group
Rehearing “I think unconscious bias is one of the things to get at.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
friendships. Contact assists in reduc- ing bias. 5. In the jargon of Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, engage in “thinking slow” (as opposed to “thinking fast”), because unconscious bias most often occurs when making decisions quickly without taking the time to analyze and reflect. 6. Learn about unconscious bias by attending education programs and reading about it. I recommend Red- field’s book as well as Everyday Bias by Howard J. Ross; Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Banaji and Greenwald; and Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt. 7. Reframe the situation by getting beyond your point of view, and consid- ering the other person’s point of view, motivations, and challenges. Dealing with our unconscious biases mat- ters greatly; it makes us better lawyers and judges, and, most of all, better people. The fair and equitable administration of justice demands no less.
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CBA RECORD 7
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