On Thursday, March 11th, the HLS Student Association for Law and Mind Sciences (SALMS) is hosting a talk by Harvard psychology professor Mahzarin Banaji entitled “Mind Bugs and the Science of Ordinary Bias.” Here’s the description.
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How deep are the bounds on human thinking and feeling and how do they shape social judgment? Our focus has been on the mechanics of unconscious mental processes, with attention to those that operate without conscious awareness, intention, or control. Most recently, we have worked with a task that reveals unconscious preferences in a rather blunt manner, showing that they can sit, at one level, in contradiction with consciously endorsed preferences. We use the tool largely for theory testing, focusing on questions about the nature of implicit social cognition and its measurement. The research tool, in vastly simplified form, is also available to the public at a demonstration website (implicit.harvard.edu), offering estimates of automatic preferences toward social groups, political candidates, and academic orientation (e.g., math/science). From such study of attitudes and beliefs of adults and children, I ask about the social and moral consequences of unintended thought and feeling. My work relies on cognitive/affective behavioral measures and neuroimaging (fMRI) with which I explore the implications for theories of individual responsibility and social justice.
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The event will take place in Pound 107 at Harvard Law School, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Free Burritos! For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a sample of Situationist discussing Professor Banaji’s scholarship, click here.