Singal-Minded Conversations: Is Implicit Bias Overhyped?

  
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For today’s Singal-Minded Conversations, I interviewed Patrick Forscher. Patrick is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas, where he runs the Group Disparities Lab. I’m very happy to be able to share this interview — Patrick is an extremely incisive, thoughtful critic of the present conversation about discrimination.

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Show notes:

-Patrick is @psforscher on Twitter and has a website here.

-Here’s my long piece on the implicit association test from 2017, which owes a lot to Patrick’s views on the subject and quotes him heavily.

-Here’s a very important meta-analysis Patrick coauthored which found that interventions designed to change people’s levels of implicit bias don’t really do all that much, that the research literature on the subject is pretty weak, and that the link between IAT scores and behavior is rather tenuous in the first place.

-Here’s another important study he coauthored which found “little race or gender bias” in the first round of the application process for receiving National Institutes of Health grants.

-We didn’t end up talking about it during the show, but Patrick is excited about the Psychological Science Accelerator, and you should be too.

-Here’s a fascinating and counterintuitive paper Patrick mentioned by the economists Jennifer Doleac and Benjamin Hansen which suggests “ban the box” actually makes discrimination against young, low-skilled black and Latino job applicants more likely.

-Here’s a paper Patrick recommended to me on “Exaggerations and Caveats in Press Releases and Health-Related Science News.”

-And here’s a link to the Amazon page for “The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychology: A Manifesto for Reforming the Culture of Scientific Practice,” a great book by Chris Chambers that came up in my conversation with Patrick and which has had a big influence on me.

-Music:

Intro: Why? - “The Vowels, Pt. 2”

Midway break: Defiance, Ohio - “Condition 11:11”

Outro: Mos Def - “Mathematics”