Finding Solutions to Implicit Bias in STEM: Thinking Fast Makes Changing Slow

Saturday, February 18, 2017: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)
Research and educational institutions and industries in the United States have encountered difficulty attracting and retaining individuals from underrepresented groups. This scenario is particularly true in STEM disciplines, despite decades of well-meaning efforts by government, universities, and employers. Why is this? One possible cause may be the mental processes underlying human decision-making. Psychologists and other social scientists have long recognized that humans make systematic errors in judgment. Hard-wired, simple, efficient rules that all humans use to make decisions (i.e., “thinking fast”) may lead to misjudgments about the capacity and potential of individuals from underrepresented groups. In this session, speakers present real-world examples, demonstrating that academic institutions can make remarkable progress recruiting underrepresented groups as students and faculty when they recognize and compensate for the realities of how the human mind works.
Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Independent
David Asai, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Timothy Renick, Georgia State University
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