Tag: bias

A recent post on The Atlantic by Olga Khazan considers research into various interventions aimed at reducing racial bias. She finds, “Most people are biased against other races, but some odd psychological interventions can help.”

She also cites research by Olin’s Michelle Duguid, Associate Professor of organizational behavior, who discovered some interventions can be counter productive when aimed at gender bias:

“Some interventions appear to be counterproductive, reinforcing prejudice even as they tried to destroy it. Michelle Duguid of Washington University in St. Louis has found that telling people that negative stereotypes about women are very common actually led them to stereotype women more negatively.”

Link to the article, Making the Brain Less Racist

Link to Michelle Duguid’s research.“Condoning Stereotypes?: How Awareness of Stereotyping Prevalence Impacts Expression of Stereotypes”, Journal of Applied Psychology, with M. Thomas-Hunt



Cracking the corporate glass ceiling is still a challenge for women. Research from Olin associate professor of organizational behavior Michelle Duguid on unconscious bias is cited as one of the most relevant studies on the obstacles preventing women from advancing to the C-suite.

Link to article on Bloomberg BNA, “Diversity Researchers See Little Improvement”

Link to research in The Journal of Applied Psychology

GoodCall, a website that covers higher education, turns to Olin’s Markus Baer for his comments on the topic of creativity gender bias which is a special focus of his research.

“According to Markus Baer, PhD, associate professor of organizational behavior at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, there are two primary reasons why gender stereotypes are so pronounced when people judge creativity. “First, people have a romantic view of creativity. The creative person is often considered to be the lone artist or inventor toiling away in isolation and against all odds trying to create the next big idea.” Although, Baer says this romantic view is far from being accurate, it continues to persist.

He also says that the very idea of judging creativity is inherently tricky because it is difficult to assess the creativeness and useful of an idea. “Whether or not something is useful can often only be determined post hoc and so there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to judging creativity.”

GoodCall quotes Prof. Baer in a report on new research from Duke University that finds “women think men are more creative.”

“Recent research reveals that both males and females have a tendency to rate men as more creative than women. A series of studies by Duke University researchers examining gender bias and creativity found that women were consistently ranked less creative than their male peers.”

Link to article on GoodCall.

Related post about Prof. Baer’s research.

Image: by Michael Caven, artist painting a portrait on the street outside Eaton Centre in Toronto, Canada; Flikr, Creative Commons

Insight into Diversity magazine includes a new diversity training program at Olin in a feature article on how businesses and universities are attempting to stymie unconscious bias and create more inclusive workplaces. Link to article. Story begins p. 28.


Howard Ross, author of Re-inventing Diversity:  Transforming Community to Strengthen People, Purpose, and Performance,  will be delivering a keynote address on “The Science of Unconscious Bias” Friday, June 19 from 8:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m.,  at the School of Medicine, Moore auditorium.

Registration can be accessed here. Registration is limited to the first 275 registrants.

The learning objectives include:

  • Understanding the science, research, and impact of unconscious bias so that you can  be more aware in your decision making
  • Exploring the way the mind perceives difference and how that perception impacts business so that you can use it to enhance engagement, innovation and collaboration in your organization
  • Practicing new strategies to recognize and mitigate bias so that you can cultivate skills to affect change in decision-making, evaluation, and interpersonal and group interactions

diversity book coverBiography for Howard Ross
Founder & Chief Learning Officer at Cook Ross Inc., a visionary at heart, Howard has served more than 25 years as an influential business consultant to hundreds of organizations across the United States and in 21 other countries, specializing in leadership, diversity, and organizational transformation. He has trained faculty and staff at the medical schools of Harvard, University of California – San Francisco, John Hopkins, and countless others.

As a recognized thought leader, Howard brings invaluable expertise and knowledge on the topic of exploring, revealing and addressing Unconscious Bias. He is the architect of several award‐winning training and awareness programs, notably CultureVision and The Diversity Toolkit. He is also the author of Re-inventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose & Performance, published by Rowman Littlefield in association with the Society for Human Resource Management and also Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in our Daily Lives, published by Rowman Littlefield in 2014.

Bias book coverHoward was the 2007‐2008 Johnnetta B. Cole Professor of Diversity‐in‐Residence at Bennett College for Women, the first time a white man has ever served in such a position at an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). He is a frequently invited international speaker for organizations and at diversity and inclusion conferences.

Here is a link to a 30-minute interview by AAMC Chief Diversity Officer Marc Nivet with  Howard Ross.

Contents from Daniel Blash, PhD, LPC, NCC, Asst. Dean, Cultural Awareness/Staff Diversity at WashU.

Image: Word cloud from www.blacktower.com