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CharonY

Bias is perpetuated by managers who deny their existence.

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An interesting study targeting gender bias, but potentially has relevance for other group biases as well. Researchers looked whether gender bias exist in jobs with high representation of women by asking folks to evaluate a performance review. The reviews were identical but one group had a female and another had a male name. Effectively male names were evaluated higher resulting in an 8% increase in salary over their female counterparts. Strikingly reviewers who were more certain that bias does not exist in their field, were more likely to be biased against women.

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/26/eaba7814

It would be interesting to extend this study to other group differences.

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Posted (edited)

That seems a no-brainer, CY, you have to recognize a problem before you can take steps to fix it.
If you don't realize there is a problem, the problem remains.

However, I could post that Science Forums members are biased towards Creationists and AGW deniers, and I would get 15 replies stating that we are not, but merely following the evidence and the facts.
Would that mean we are, and simply don't recognize it ?
Is it a valid extension of this study to the above mentioned groups ?

( just demonstrating the pitfalls of generalizing )

 

Edited by MigL

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Your analogy is flawed. For starters the data and evidence is identical, only name is different. In addition, those that claim lack of bias could still have given higher scores to women. It does show that there is indeed a problem, but it is not symmetrical, even in a women-dominated field, which is curious.

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I didn't question the study or data, in fact, I agreed with it.
What I questioned was generalizing, or extending the study, to other groups or situations.

Sorry if I didn't make my meaning clear.

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On 7/4/2020 at 11:27 AM, MigL said:

I didn't question the study or data, in fact, I agreed with it.
What I questioned was generalizing, or extending the study, to other groups or situations.

Sorry if I didn't make my meaning clear.

I think extending it to other forms of asymmetric biases is something worthwhile to look into. Many mechanisms appear to to be similar. I.e. differential evaluation of folks in absence of differences in objective measures. After all, similar studies with similar setup have shown that certain groups are systematically disadvantaged. The new bit here is that those that think that those bias do not exist are the ones most likely to perpetuate it. I.e. in order for a fair evaluation one needs to be aware of the bias in the first place, as you mentioned.

That goes against some narratives that state that a) fairness can only be achieved if either one pretends to be gender- (and/or race-) blind and b) specifically including race or gender will bias against the others. The study suggest that in contrast to these assumptions, folks being aware of biases swing toward a balance rather than pushing the pendulum to the other side.

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