Bits of Bias
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law
December 4, 2011
IMPLICIT BIAS ACROSS THE LAW, Justin Levinson, Robert Smith, eds., Oxford University Press, 2012
UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 11-40
Scientists have demonstrated that implicit biases are pervasive, large in magnitude, and have real-world consequences. What can we do about them? One principal strategy is to decrease the implicit bias in our minds (the other is to disrupt their causal link to behavior). In order to decrease bias, we should understand where they come from in the first place. Put crudely, is it nature nurture? I argue that it’s mostly nurture, and of a specific sort – via vicarious experiences with outgroups mediated by electronic media. These vicarious interactions, fed to us via entertainment, news, social media, and computer mediated-communities, strengthen particular mental associations. If these vicarious experiences are indeed a substantial source of implicit bias, what might policymakers do, in the shadow of the First Amendment?
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: implicit bias, virtual worlds, media, social contactAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 5, 2011 ; Last revised: January 9, 2012
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