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Science

How, and Why, We Should Identify Bias and Harness the Power of Diversity

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When it comes to bias, we as a species have a long way to go. Even when we know the importance of diversity and we’re aware of our own biases, we still need help overcoming our preferential treatment toward certain groups and people.

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about a study that points to how our biases effect our decisions, even when we have the best of intentions.

One way to overcome these unconscious biases is to remove the factor that would bias a decision. On applications, for instance: If applications didn't include the names of the applicants, professors would be forced to judge them on merit alone.

But why does diversity matter?

Diversity benefits all, not just the minority being marginalized. When we associate with like-minded, like-cultured, like-gendered people, our notions of the world tend to be reinforced rather than challenged. We may not even be aware that we have certain biases or preferences. As Markman says,  “Fish don’t know they’re in water.” (h/t David Foster Wallace.)

Not only will diversifying your social pool or workplace help you solve problems you’ve been struggling with, it might also help you identify problems you never knew existed.

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