The Hidden : How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives.

Vedantam, Shankar

Most people equate the term "unconscious bias" with prejudice or partiality, but the new research was using the term differently: "Unconscious bias" described any situation where people's actions were at odds with their intentions. The devilish thing was that people never felt manipulated. They rationalized their biases away-and even claimed ownership for actions they had not intended. Some unconscious biases were comical, others were innocuous. Many were useful. But the deadly ones conjured a Shakespearean image in my mind: the demonic Iago manipulating the gullible Othello into believing his wife was unfaithful. Like Iago, unconscious bias influenced people subtly, not overtly. lt caused them to make serious errors of judgment-and then feel certain about their conclusions. It derived much of its power from the fact that people were unaware of it.

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