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Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  3,629 ratings  ·  589 reviews
From one of the world's leading experts on unconscious racial bias, a personal examination of one of the central controversies and culturally powerful issues of our time, and its influence on contemporary race relations and criminal justice.

We do not have to be racist to be biased. With a perspective that is both scientific, investigative, and also informed by personal exp
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Viking
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 ·  3,629 ratings  ·  589 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
A book for anyone who wants to know how biases are formed, how they manifest and even how our brains process them. There are examples, even from the authors own life, and studies that show how biases are used in everyday life. Statistics to back up the authors assertions, and experiments that prove the validity of the statistics. How to counter these biases, by education, training in empathy for professionals like the police, where they are daily confronted with situations that could prove deadl ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books about implicit bias I've ever read. It's both personal and data-based, warm and inviting where it needs to be and cold and honest in other parts. I would recommend this to any organization or person or group who wants to understand how bias works and how it's ok--it's not your fault.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: give-aways
Amazing book! The writing was clear and easy to follow. I usually stay away from non-fiction for a variety of reasons, but this one is definitely worth your time. Although it's very specific towards law enforcement, it was an eye-opener to me.

As most people, I have always declared I have no prejudice. This book allowed me to see there are many layers of biases we all have buried in our unconscious. And rather than focus on the guilt of that, this story focuses on how to become aware. With that
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Solid read, if repetitive at times. I read it all in one sitting. It was a local book club selection, and we had a lively discussion.

Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Some nonfiction presents new Ideas and some nonfiction is well written and this book has both traits. Eberhardt whose work I was unaware until I heard her interviewed on a youtube channel is a cognitive scientist whose research area is implicit biases that we carry with us. I had heard of other studies of implicit bias but Eberhardt's gift is taking this factoid that many stored away in our science trivia collection and shows its salience in reality and why it is much more than a factoid but a ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I have to say that I see where the writer is going/coming from here and I agree. The idea here is that we have certain societal Biases that we carry with us and are generally unaware of.

I agree this is true. However the writer (I believe) needs to stop and "possibly" (and I know I may annoy some with what I say here) as I was saying "possibly" needs to become aware of her own innate biases...

Just a thought, consider as you read the book.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of informative nonfiction that I like to see -- clearly written, incorporating broad statistics and study findings with concrete examples, correlating arguments to current or historical events, and the author's use of personal anecdotes or stories told to her to make the content of her work really connect on a personal level. This is a really well executed book on implicit bias that threads the needle between acknowledging that implicit bias is something that we all inherit & ar ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've recently read several books on this important topic and this is the best one so far. The author tells personal anecdotes but they are pertinent to the points she is trying to illustrate from the objective research. When she describes her experience working with groups like police forces, she has believable tales of success. She does a good job covering many issues without getting bogged down.

The ending was disappointing however; I had hoped for evidence on what works to combat prejudices,
Laura Noggle
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is alarming how much of our biases are subconsciously ingrained in us not only from birth, but from our culture as well.

While not exactly groundbreaking, this book has a lot of heart and helps lay out the facts and statistics.

I hope by becoming more aware of ingrained biases we all can push to resist structural bias as the norm.
Kudos to J. Eberhardt! This is a book everyone should read. It makes sense, hits you in your tender places and yet isn't about guilting a person into change. Rather, she does a deft and able job of showing you where it comes from (which isn't the focus, so a reader doesn't spend a bunch of time feeling defensive) and how to see the biases, how to recognize them. From there, she shows chapter by chapter how persons with particular prejudices are led to particular choice-making processes, which in ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a little conflicted about this book. Which, given the emotionally explosive nature of the topic, is not so surprising.

Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford University. She got her PhD from Harvard. She was chosen in 2014 for a MacArthur "genius grant". She is, quite clearly, not just an African-American with opinions, she has a lot of detailed and scientific knowledge about how bias works. She is also, though, an African-American with opinions; she tells the story
Donna Hines
"We do not have to be racist to be biased."
A relevant, heart breaking, emotionally draining look at the heart of America's racial tensions, social inequality, confirmation bias, racial profiling, and the attitudes that are inherently ours.
Social judgements affect both how we see those around us and how we perceive ourselves.
Confirmation bias is the mechanism the tool allowing inaccurate beliefs to manifest and persist just as destructive as stereotypes.
Racial bias leads to the capacity to do har
Tangled in Text
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book started off great. It was fresh and thought-provoking but it seemed as it neared the end to remain focused on one race and not the sense of general bias like the first half. I am a nerd for all the studies and test results though so I remained pretty giddy throughout.

I loved the analogies so much so I worked them into conversations with friends and family during the week I was reading this. I loved the example that a bias is actually a proven mental shortcoming. Our brains focus on wh
Read with GR group Nonfiction Book Club.

Why a paltry 3 stars? This book was not written with someone with the awareness I have. I am more than familiar with the concept of in-grouping/out-group. I am a woman of indeterminate ethnicity.

However, I did not find the book a complete bore. I learned of the existence of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice operated by the Equal Justice Initiative.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent, thought provoking book. The author, Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor at Stanford, and writes in an academic but approachable way. She includes both research findings on racial bias, and helpful stories, many from her own life and experience as well as discussions with police officers, prison inmates, her Uber driver in Charlottesville, and more.

She believes that most people aren’t actively trying to be racists, but because of bias, often act in ways that harm others, part
Emily Meacham
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A very well-written book, but my moderate rating is only because it was not the book that I thought it was going to be. I was hoping for more of an analysis of "why" we are implicitly biased and how we might try to overcome that, but this book was more of a chronicle of examples of implicit bias. And that's an excellent subject, albeit incredibly and overwhelmingly sad and frustrating. I was just looking for some "answers" and help as to how we can start to work on our own implicit biases, and I ...more
Dan Connors
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
Having grown up during the days of civil rights demonstrations and Martin Luther King, I had thought that we had come a longer way on race. Schools seem less segregated, interracial couples are not a huge deal anymore, and we elected a black president in 2008. The new rise of hate groups and racism since President Obama was elected makes me wonder if we've made any progress at all. There's been some progress, but as white people begin to feel more threatened, we've all fallen backwards on race.

Kaethe Douglas
Eberhardt has been working at Stanford for 30 years now, uncovering the roots of systemic racism via social science. Together with other researchers she has performed a lot of studies and learned and published. One focus of her work has been in using social science to address pressing social problems. In this book she takes all her years of research and expertise and lays it all out for the non-academic reader.
If you're not up on implicit bias it is the part that we all have picked up on regardl
J Adele LaCombe
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book more than five stars. I am calling this my book of the year. It is one I want everyone I know, actually everyone everywhere to read. Dr Eberhardt is a clinical physcologist and has spent her career studying racial bias. This book is packed with well documented studies of how racial disparities and inequites exist and as I read they didn't just reside outside my world but inside. Places I had never even considered. This book opens your eyes to things that are so ingr ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like “White Fragility”, I think this is essential reading for white people who want to educate themselves on the complexities of racism and how they can be (unknowingly) complicit in it. This books combines personal experience with research and data and it feels both personal and educative at the same time because of it, which makes you keep reading/listening. I listened to it, and personally had a *little* trouble with the author’s voice but that’s coming from someone who is sound sensitive so ...more
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Forget about all the NYT nonfiction bestsellers of the moment – THIS is the book about racial bias that everyone should read.

The author, Jennifer Eberhardt, obviously cares more about data than about ideology. She is not without her biases – no one is – but she is noticeably conscientious in her scholarship. She regularly makes note of possible confounding variables in the research she cites. Her only goal seems to be to teach people about the world around them, the world inside them, and how t
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Our perception of immigrants is so tied to fear of disease and an assumption of dirtiness that in a study of participants during a period of a flu epidemic, there was a significant difference in negative opinions towards immigrants between those participants who had been vaccinated and those who hadn’t. “Their sense of vulnerability to disease was tied to unacknowledged fears about infected immigrants“.

In “Bias: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do”, Jennifer L
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
So honest confessions...I did not read this book fully. It was late at the library and I had to skip a few chapters! But I did read a lot of the book including the ending. ;)

I think part of this decision comes from a comment on the book - there is a good deal of repetitive ideas throughout. The same studies are presented in different chapters in a way that makes you feel that the author wrote the chapters separately and didn't add a "I know I already mentioned this" type of qualifier. I also wa
Francesca Calarco
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the same vein as Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness and Carol Anderson’s White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Dr. Eberhardt tackles American systemic injustice with Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, specifically through the lens of cognitive behavioral psychology. While the root of her analysis is clinical, she intersperses these assessments with anecdotes from her lived experienc ...more
Deedi Brown (DeediReads)
All my reviews live at

I received this book as part of my subscription to the Next Big Idea Club, and as soon as I had it in my hands, I was excited to read it. Biased is a scientific, uncompromising, empathetic look at bias (often specifically racial bias).

I try to read books that will help me become a less biased person whenever they are recommended, but I think this is one of the best ones I’ve read. Dr. Eberhardt is so clear and so compelling, and she comes a
Laura Trombley
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read. The author, an award winning psychology professor at Stanford breaks down the psychology of racism for the masses. She does not excuse racism but explains the science behind it. We would probably not have survived as a species if we were not hard wired to be wary of the other. We would not be able to process information if we had to pay attention to all of the stimuli that inundates us at every moment. These underlying mechanisms are the causes of implicit bias. That be ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book about horrible truths. I found it both sad and hopeful. I loved the science and research threaded with stories and experiences. And she shared a lot of her own life, too and her experiences as a mother.
Tanner Marcum
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was phenomenal. The concept of implicit bias is so important to understand today. This book should be part of core curriculum taught in schools! It’s brought me one step closer to understanding how I can become a more unbiased, kind, fair human being working for a better and more equitable world.
Tara May
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
“There is hope in the very act of reflection.”

A beautiful—and shocking, and hard—book. An important book that should be required reading for being human.

As hard as it is to face the truths and statistics presented in this book, and to not spiral into hopelessness (and ultimately passiveness), I really appreciated the author’s assertion that believing that change can happen is essential to making a change. You cannot change what you don’t bother to reflect on.

It made me glad that I spend my day
Peyton Van amburgh
Part psychological research, part first-hand account, the book traces racial bias through childhood, education, the workplace, and everywhere else it can occur, which, [SPOILER ALERT] is everywhere! The research data and statistics are really upsetting and infuriating. What follows in the later half of the book is an inspiring, while no less daunting, call to reflect, engage and dismantle commonplace and accepted racial bias as it occurs.
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Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur “genius” grant. She has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was named one of Foreign Policy‘s 100 Leading Global Thinkers. She is co-founder and co-director of SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions), a Stanford Center ...more

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“When the police kill unarmed black suspects, those deaths are associated with a significant dip in the mental health of blacks across the entire state where those killings occurred.” 5 likes
“It’s implausible to believe that officers—or anyone else—can be immersed in an environment that repetitively exposes them to the categorical pairing of blacks with crime and not have that affect how they think, feel, or behave.” 4 likes
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