APS Spotlight

Expert Panel: Policing and Racism, Insights from Psychological Science

On May 21, the Association for Psychological Science (APS) convened a panel of experts on policing and racism to discuss the latest scientific data and share insights into the factors behind racial bias during police encounters. Journalists were invited to attend this one-hour online presentation.

Topics and speakers included: 

Policing Racial Bias was presented by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, a professor of psychology and co-director of Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions, or SPARQ. at Stanford University. She will describe studies relevant to racial bias in the criminal justice system and offer an approach forward, highlighting examples of her work in policing. Eberhardt investigates the consequences of the psychological association between race and crime and the extent to which racial imagery and judgments suffuse our culture and society, and in particular shape actions and outcomes within the domain of criminal justice. She is also APS President Elect and the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Asking the Right Questions About Racism in Policing was presented by Phillip Atiba Goff, the co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity and a professor of African American Studies and Psychology at Yale University. He is a recognized national leader in the science of racial bias and has pioneered scientific experiments that exposed how our minds learn to associate Blackness and crime implicitly—often with deadly consequences. 

Implicit Bias Reflects Systemic Racism was presented by Keith Payne, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His lab studies how inequality shapes the human mind and explores why people sometimes act in prejudiced ways even when they intend to be fair. He also is author of The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die.  

Policing and Black America was presented by Tom Tyler, the Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and a professor of psychology at Yale Law School. His research explores the role of justice in shaping people’s relationships with groups, organizations, communities, and societies. In particular, he examines the role of judgments about the justice or injustice of group procedures in shaping legitimacy, compliance, and cooperation. 


A raw transcript of the panel is here.

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