‘If you think you don’t need to read this book, you really need to read this book.’ Jane Garvey, Presenter, BBC Radio 4
‘An exhaustive, brilliantly researched survey of bias and how it seeps so easily into our everyday thoughts and actions. An eye-opening book that I hope will be widely read.’ Angela Saini, science journalist and author of Superior and Inferior
Have you ever been told to smile more, been teased about your accent, or had your name pronounced incorrectly? If so, you’ve probably already faced bias in your everyday life.
We like to believe that we are all fair-minded and egalitarian but we all carry biases that we might not even be aware of. We might believe that we live in a post-racial society, but racial tension and inequality is pernicious and pervasive. We might believe that gender inequality is a thing of the past, but it is still ubiquitous.
Unconscious bias has become a frequently-used term in our vocabulary, but there are still so many myths around it. For the first time, behavioural scientist, activist and writer Dr Pragya Agarwal unravels the way our implicit or ‘unintentional’ biases affect the way we communicate and perceive the world, and how they affect our decision-making, even in life and death situations. She takes a unique inter-disciplinary approach combining case studies, personal experience, interviews and real world stories underpinned by scientific theories and research. She covers a wide range of implicit biases in depth, including age-ism, appearance, accents, sexism and aversive racism. Throughout, Pragya answers questions such as: do our roots for prejudice lie in our evolutionary past? What happens in our brains when our biases are activated? How has bias affected technology? If we don’t know about it, are we really responsible for it?
At a time when partisan political ideologies are taking centre stage, and we struggle to make sense of who we are and who we want to be, it is crucial that we understand why we act the way we do. This book will enable you to reflect and consider the forces that shape us all, opening your eyes to your own biases in a scientific and non-judgmental way.
About the Author
Dr Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural and data scientist, and a freelance journalist. As a Senior Academic in US and UK Universities, she held the prestigious Leverhulme Fellowship, following a PhD from the University of Nottingham. She is a two-time TEDx speaker, winner of Diverse Wisdom award from Hay House, and was named as one of the 100 influential women in social enterprise in the UK, and one of 50 people creating change in the UK-India corridor on the High and Mighty list.
Pragya has been invited to give keynote talks and workshops around the world, and has appeared on several international podcasts, radio and television channels, such as BBC Woman’s Hour, BBC Breakfast, Australian Broadcasting Service, and Canadian Radio. She organised the first ever TEDxWoman event in the north of the country, and has a podcast called ‘Outside the Boxes’.