Monday, 4 March 2013

Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People - Mahzarin R. Banaji & Anthony G. Greenwald

The book sounded super interesting and I'm always curious about this kind of thing. I've always been interested in psychology and although there was too much work for me to seriously consider minoring in it in college, I do love reading about these sorts of things.

Blindspot wants to explore the world of hidden biases, things we wouldn't say we believe but deep, deep down have a slight tendency to lean towards. People who support gay marriage and believe all people are equal that will still side on the side of whites when it comes to an 'implicit Awareness Test' which studies these unconscious biases.

The conclusions that the researchers came to were very telling, if not a bit predictable. Clearly the world isn't perfect yet but all the different test cases that were cited were very interesting, if only for the way the different researches tested for bias.

I wish I had liked this book more but one of the real downsides is that it doesn't read well. It's very dry and at times when it starts veering towards interesting and fun, it seems to catch ahold of itself and run right back into scientific jargon. It tries, it really does but ultimately, it can get quite dry.

The other problem is that it kept referring to Appendix A. If you have to refer to an appendix over and over again, maybe you should have just put that information in the book itself. To be honest, I thought Appendix A was the most well written and interesting part of the entire book. So yes, please do refer to Appendix A. Maybe even before you read the rest.

I did enjoy the book and was curious about the different outcomes that would be explored. Some testimonies were very interesting. All in all, though, it was quite dry and while I know it was science, it needs to be jazzed up a tiny bit for the general public, I think. 

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