Postgraduate student at Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Units: Philosophy
A, Humanisthuset, HE119 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå
About my Doctoral Project
According to numerous empirical studies, implicit biases are likely to affect all sorts of processes in which human interaction is required. In contrast to explicit prejudice, such as raising racist or sexist views to e.g. justify statements about other people, implicit bias has the further problematic feature of operating unconsciously and automatically. This may cause even the most devoted anti-racist or anti-sexist to act or judge in accordance with racist or sexist stereotypes, while being unaware of doing so.
A striking example is provided by the many experiments consisting in submitting identical CV's under different names to the same employer. This procedure demonstrates that job applicants tend to be judged as either more or less competent or suited for the job than they actually are, in accordance with stereotypes about the social group to which they belong. Thus, we may end up hiring an applicant who, given our own evaluative standards, was not the best choice.
In my Ph. D. project, I investigate this phenomenon with focus on epistemological and moral questions. This includes preliminary research questions such as: what strategies would be most effective to ensure that implicit bias do not affect our judgments about other people? How can we know that a particular job applicant is the best one given implicit bias interfering with our judgments? Should we focus on changing biased patterns in people's minds, or on changing their biased behaviour after the fact?
I obtained a MA degree in theoretical philosophy from Lund University in 2016 with a thesis on "Doubts about Rater Objectivity: an Investigation of Possible Ways to De-Bias Implicitly Biased Rankings". I started as a Ph.D. student at Umeå University later the same year.