Blind Spots

Mahzarin Banaji. Photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerResearch shows that even “good people,” those who make an earnest effort to make unbiased judgments and act only on their best intentions, still bear unconscious prejudices against certain social groups. In their book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald examine how membership in social groups can influence our deepest feelings about others based on such factors as age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.

Banaji, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, has written extensively on these mental blindspots in relation to crime alerts, trustworthiness, and those considered to be lucky or unlucky.