Biased

Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
Narrated by: Jennifer L. Eberhardt
Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (454 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"This book should be required reading for everyone." (Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility)

"Poignant...important and illuminating." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Groundbreaking." (Bryan Stevenson, New York Times best-selling author of Just Mercy)

From one of the world’s leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time

How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society - in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. Racial bias is a problem that we all have a role to play in solving.

©2019 Jennifer L. Eberhardt (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A fascinating new book... [Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is] a genius." (Trevor Noah, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah)

"Powerful...useful for those new to the topic as well as those well-versed in the topic...Eberhardt abandons the jargon-speak of academic research and speaks to the reader’s head, heart, and soul...[and] will make you think about the news, your neighborhood, your work place and yourself with fresh eyes." (Forbes)

"An immensely informative and insightful analysis of race-based stereotypes. [Eberhardt] also offers practical suggestions for managing mechanisms of prejudice that 'are rooted in the structures of our brains.'" (Psychology Today)

What listeners say about Biased

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

hoped for more on why bias and how to avoid it

good book with loads of stats and stories that make the case relatable. but more of why is there bias and beyond one particular race could have made it an awesome book. as a Indian origin immigrant who lived in 4 countries other than India I see bias evident in every country and culture so the human origins and hopefully solutions got to be general at some level and specific at some level. eagerly listened through to hit these parts but could not find. though it does a very good job of listing and bringing out stats in every case to show that bias is pervasive - which am guessing the buyers of this book already agree on

11 people found this helpful

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Recommend!

I really enjoyed this book. Finished it in a couple of days. It was a good synthesis of the research on biases and related issues from many different fields (biology, neuroscience, social psychology, sociology, criminal justice, economics, etc.) as well as the related history and sociopolitics that shaped today’s racial power dynamics and inequality. I like how she weaves the research data/results with testimonios from interviewees and her own personal experiences/anecdotes to make the statistics less abstract and more relatable. I need to comment on the narrator because her reading threw me off a bit. I mean, she was good for the most part. But she needs to work on pausing at the appropriate times. Sometimes she paused (implying the end of a sentence) when there were at least a couple of words to go, and other times she didn’t pause at all speeding through a couple of ideas that left me confused and having to think through what she said to make sense of it. Overall, though, it was well worth the listen!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Compelling stories and questionable science

This book features a number of compelling stories from the author's life, from her family history, from police officers, from black civilians, from black street criminals, from students, etc. Many of these stories fit a reader's expectations, such as a woman jogger being afraid of the author's teenage son. The stories are moving, and they put a human face on statistics. Other stories run counter to the predominant antiracist narrative, such as police officers—even black officers—developing suspicious attitudes toward black men not out of racial animus but as the result of repeated experiences on the street where the criminals encountered are disproportionately black. These stories help round out the complex issue of bias. Unfortunately, the science in the book is more uneven. Some work seems clearly informative, such as the fMRI scans that show that at a neural level people register same-race faces more strongly than the faces of other races. This finding helps explain the common observation that, for example, "all black men look alike to me". One group of black street criminals used this "face blindness" to their advantage, stealing purses from Asian who, they knew, would not be able to ID them. Most of the science, however, is vague. Eberhardt tells us that another person's race makes certain interpersonal responses more likely, less likely, more powerful, or less powerful—but she rarely puts numbers to these comparisons. Often, she doesn't explain how these findings were observed or how much difference they make in the real world. Sometimes she makes claims about bias with no reference to a study or any rigorous observation to back it up. She says early on that the high crime rate among young black men creates a general bias against black people in general. She does not, however, compare this bias to any bias that might be common against men compared to women or against young men compared to old men. She mentions gender bias briefly, but only when it is negative toward women. She never explores the idea that people might associate men with crime and be biased against them in that way. In a couple cases, her reports leave out information that doesn't fit her narrative, and I was grateful that I already knew about those cases from other sources so that I could balance what I learned here with the information that Eberhardt left out. Biases of one sort or another seem nearly universal, so this is a big, important topic. For more general and rigorous books on bias, I would recommend Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Behave by Roberta Sapolsky, The Political Mind by George Lakoff, and Influence by Robert Cialdini.

5 people found this helpful

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Necessary but Fast Listen

An incredibly written book of necessary reading, of which the narration doesn’t quite match the power of the information within. If you can focus intently enough to listen on 1.5x speed, that makes it a much smoother listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome, Relevant, Current

I enjoyed this reading and especially because it was read by the author. It’s always nice hearing the book in their actual voice. It is refreshing to hear such a recent book on this topic. I will be referring to it in my practice as a social worker. Thank you for this great read!

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  • Ed
  • 09-06-20

Outstanding and sadly timeless

As i read thru the first chapters, my initial impression was that the book might be too focused on policing for what i was seeking. If you share an interest in broader societal issues, read on - you will not be disappointed! Dr. Eberhardt’s skillful mix of academic, practical, and personal examples brings Biased to life. Thank you for this thoughtful and engaging review of our challebges and call to action.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Eyeopener!

Motivation for reflective practices, open dialogue and communication that can bridge the gaps of misconceptions that biases can cause.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Evocative

Refreshing perspective. Wished there were workbook exercises on implicit bias training included for group work.

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Powerful science and story!

What a powerful, informative, and well-written book weaving together science and personal stories in a beautiful way. Thank you, Dr. Eberhardt.

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Brilliant.

A book everyone should be required to read in order to navigate through this current world. Thank you Professor Eberhardt for your endless research and data to reveal our subconscious bias and prejudice. I am forever changed!