Bias can be costly, imposing what researchers have described as a “stereotype tax“, affecting everything from negotiating to hiring decisions. Unconscious bias can exclude qualified people from jobs or educational opportunities. Because of biases and assumptions about their counterpart on the other side of the table, negotiators are more likely to leave value on the table.
Bias is pervasive. It can be found where it is least welcomed, even in courthouses where justice should be blind and balanced, treating equally and with fairness all who come before the law.
To combat implicit bias and to raise awareness of its dangers in America’s courthouses, the National Center for State Courts has gathered on its web site an impressive collection of articles and videos on social cognition, judicial deliberation, and decision making, including these:
- Blinking on the Bench: How Judges Decide Cases, by Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich
- The Law of Implicit Bias, by Christine Jolls and Cass R. Sunstein
- Implicit Bias: A Primer for Courts (PDF), by Jerry Kang (Prepared for the National Campaign to Ensure the Racial and Ethnic Fairness of America’s State Courts)
Also included is a link to Project Implicit, the ongoing research project into unconscious bias.