Racial Bias By White Police Officers Essay

1228 WordsNov 23, 20165 Pages
this is a behavior that everyone experiences daily. Social psychologists have studied the cause and effect of biases, specifically by white police officers towards minorities. Implicit bias, specifically racial bias, describes a psychological process in which a person’s unconscious racial belief (stereotypes) and attitudes (prejudices) affect his or her behaviors, perceptions, and judgments in ways that they are largely unaware of and typically, unable to control (Graham). Research centers for the study of racial bias have developed experimental studies to help understand how race can, for instance, influence a police officer to shoot an unarmed suspect. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is one of the most commonly used tests for this study. IAT was developed by three scientists, Tony Greenwald (University of Washington), Mahzarin Banaji (Harvard University), and Brian Nosek (University of Virginia) (“ProjectImplicit”). Their “Project Implicit” program was designed to identify our societal biases through the association of faces (black and white) with words (good and bad). This program uses a scoring algorithm that can identify those who are faking the test with approximately 75% accuracy (Cvencek et al.). The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University also uses the Implicit Association Test to study biases. Researchers there have identified not only how implicit bias influences a police officer’s split-second decisions, but also
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