In this piece, Nicholas Kristoff explores the unconscious biases than rule our daily lives from supermarket music to the weather. He notes that white men, one of the most privileged groups in the world, tend to feel largely indignant about the attribution of privilege, claiming that it does not exist in supposed level playing field. He explores gendered biases, down to the way professors are judged on ratemyprofessor.com. He cites several studies, proving that race and gender on the same resume affects call back rates, even if all that is different is the name (for example, Evan Smith as opposed to Lakisha Jones). The writer invites people with privilege, especially white men to work towards acknowledging systemic biases and the institutional power they hold over marginalized groups.
Read an excerpt of the article written by Nicholas Kristoff:
Supermarket shoppers are more likely to buy French wine when French music is playing, and to buy German wine when they hear German music. That’s true even though only 14 percent of shoppers say they noticed the music, a study finds. Researchers discovered that candidates for medical school interviewed on sunny days received much higher ratings than those interviewed on rainy days. Being interviewed on a rainy day was a setback equivalent to having an MCAT score 10 percent lower, according to a new book called ‘‘Everyday Bias,’’ by Howard J. Ross. Those studies are a reminder that we humans are perhaps less rational than we would like to think, and more prone to the buffeting of unconscious influences. That’s something for those of us who are white men to reflect on when we’re accused of ‘‘privilege.’’ White men sometimes feel besieged and baffled by these suggestions of systematic advantage. ...read more