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Implicit bias: Is there hope for change?

May 6, 2021 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tessa Charlesworth

In every era, every year, and every day, what humans think and feel about other groups is undergoing continual transformation in response to protests, changes in laws, elections, and more. Yet one particularly sticky part of our thoughts and feelings about social groups rests in our implicit biases – our attitudes and beliefs that are less conscious, less controllable, and (until recently) thought to be unchangeable.

Speaker Tessa Charlesworth will review the newest research showing that, in fact, our implicit biases can and do change over time, using data from over 6 million volunteers in the US collected since 2007. In the present time of significant societal upheaval, this talk can help us as citizens better understand the nature of our society and our social progress: how far we’ve come in our biases, but also how far we have yet to go.

Tessa Charlesworth is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Harvard, where she works with Professor Mahzarin R. Banaji. Hailing from Victoria, BC, Canada, Tessa completed her B.A. in Psychology at Columbia University in New York City. Since then, her research has focused on understanding how our thoughts and feelings about social groups are formed and changed over the long time spans of history and individual development. She seeks to answer these questions using a diverse set of methods including big data analyses and psychological experiments.

Cost: Free, virtual program. RSVP required.

The Bias Inside Us—an exhibition and community engagement project from the Smithsonian—is an exploration of the social science, psychology, and consequences of implicit bias.

The Bias Inside Us is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Major support is provided by The Otto Bremer Trust.

Tessa Charlesworth

Speaker Tessa Charlesworth

Blind Spot Book Cover


May 6, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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