From: The New York Times Magazine

How ‘Bias’ Went From a Psychological Observation to a Political Accusation

The New York Times Magazine:

In 2004, 57 police officers of different races were divided into two groups for a simple experiment. Half of them were shown two photo lineups, one with an array of white faces and one with black faces. This group was more visually attuned to the white faces. A second group looked at the same lineups after words like “violent,” “crime” and “shoot” flashed on their screens, at the edge of their field of vision. This group of officers’ eyes were mostly drawn to the black faces. In a similar test, using pictures of guns and knives instead of words, a group of white college students exhibited a similar shift in attention.

And yet this dark election season suggests otherwise. From dim beginning to dimmer end, the campaign has laid bare how bias and accusations of bias are cleaving us from one another. Donald Trump complains that he can’t get a fair ruling from a judge of Mexican ancestry, pledges to ban Muslims from entering the country and suggests that a woman doesn’t have what it takes to be president on the grounds of her gender. In August, a Washington Post poll found that 60 percent of Americans believed that Trump was “biased against women and minorities.” And many Trump supporters believe that Hillary Clinton is biased against them, based on her statement (for which she later apologized) that half of them are “deplorable” and “irredeemable” because of their racism, sexism and xenophobia.

Read the whole story: The New York Times Magazine

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