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Publisher's Summary

"Poignant...important and illuminating." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Groundbreaking." (Bryan Stevenson, New York Times best-selling author of Just Mercy)

From one of the world’s leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time.

How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society - in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. Racial bias is a problem that we all have a role to play in solving.

©2019 Jennifer L. Eberhardt (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

Winner of the Williams James Book Award from the American Psychological Association

Winner of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Book Prize

Nonfiction Runner-Up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize 

"A fascinating new book... [Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is] a genius." (Trevor Noah, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah)  

"Powerful...useful for those new to the topic as well as those well-versed in the topic...Eberhardt abandons the jargon-speak of academic research and speaks to the reader’s head, heart, and soul...[and] will make you think about the news, your neighborhood, your work place and yourself with fresh eyes." (Forbes)  

"An immensely informative and insightful analysis of race-based stereotypes. [Eberhardt] also offers practical suggestions for managing mechanisms of prejudice that 'are rooted in the structures of our brains'." (Psychology Today)  

Featured Article: Challenging Racial Bias in True Crime Stories


In cases involving Black and Brown victims, the reporting of true crime is its own kind of injustice. Bad things happen to Black and Brown women every day. But no one is talking about the color of their hair and eyes, their job, their education, or how much they are loved by family and community. Discover a growing gamut of podcasts that runs from deep-dive single case investigations to compilations focusing on missing and murdered Black women.

What listeners say about Biased

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

hoped for more on why bias and how to avoid it

good book with loads of stats and stories that make the case relatable. but more of why is there bias and beyond one particular race could have made it an awesome book. as a Indian origin immigrant who lived in 4 countries other than India I see bias evident in every country and culture so the human origins and hopefully solutions got to be general at some level and specific at some level. eagerly listened through to hit these parts but could not find. though it does a very good job of listing and bringing out stats in every case to show that bias is pervasive - which am guessing the buyers of this book already agree on

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Compelling stories and questionable science

This book features a number of compelling stories from the author's life, from her family history, from police officers, from black civilians, from black street criminals, from students, etc. Many of these stories fit a reader's expectations, such as a woman jogger being afraid of the author's teenage son. The stories are moving, and they put a human face on statistics. Other stories run counter to the predominant antiracist narrative, such as police officers—even black officers—developing suspicious attitudes toward black men not out of racial animus but as the result of repeated experiences on the street where the criminals encountered are disproportionately black. These stories help round out the complex issue of bias. Unfortunately, the science in the book is more uneven. Some work seems clearly informative, such as the fMRI scans that show that at a neural level people register same-race faces more strongly than the faces of other races. This finding helps explain the common observation that, for example, "all black men look alike to me". One group of black street criminals used this "face blindness" to their advantage, stealing purses from Asian who, they knew, would not be able to ID them. Most of the science, however, is vague. Eberhardt tells us that another person's race makes certain interpersonal responses more likely, less likely, more powerful, or less powerful—but she rarely puts numbers to these comparisons. Often, she doesn't explain how these findings were observed or how much difference they make in the real world. Sometimes she makes claims about bias with no reference to a study or any rigorous observation to back it up. She says early on that the high crime rate among young black men creates a general bias against black people in general. She does not, however, compare this bias to any bias that might be common against men compared to women or against young men compared to old men. She mentions gender bias briefly, but only when it is negative toward women. She never explores the idea that people might associate men with crime and be biased against them in that way. In a couple cases, her reports leave out information that doesn't fit her narrative, and I was grateful that I already knew about those cases from other sources so that I could balance what I learned here with the information that Eberhardt left out. Biases of one sort or another seem nearly universal, so this is a big, important topic. For more general and rigorous books on bias, I would recommend Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Behave by Roberta Sapolsky, The Political Mind by George Lakoff, and Influence by Robert Cialdini.

13 people found this helpful

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Recommend!

I really enjoyed this book. Finished it in a couple of days. It was a good synthesis of the research on biases and related issues from many different fields (biology, neuroscience, social psychology, sociology, criminal justice, economics, etc.) as well as the related history and sociopolitics that shaped today’s racial power dynamics and inequality. I like how she weaves the research data/results with testimonios from interviewees and her own personal experiences/anecdotes to make the statistics less abstract and more relatable.

I need to comment on the narrator because her reading threw me off a bit. I mean, she was good for the most part. But she needs to work on pausing at the appropriate times. Sometimes she paused (implying the end of a sentence) when there were at least a couple of words to go, and other times she didn’t pause at all speeding through a couple of ideas that left me confused and having to think through what she said to make sense of it. Overall, though, it was well worth the listen!

6 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

I was looking for a book about strategies to address and prevent biases from dispropotationally affecting the lives of people from minoritized commununities. However, this book just pointed put how embedded biases are and focused mainly on People biases against Black people.

2 people found this helpful

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Very biased book, hard left theme

The first few chapters were good but as the chapters passed the content moved further and further left. Towards the end of the book, I found it to be mostly propaganda, second and third hand stories based a people’s feelings and not facts. The author went as far as blaming national racism on President Trump.

2 people found this helpful

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Necessary but Fast Listen

An incredibly written book of necessary reading, of which the narration doesn’t quite match the power of the information within. If you can focus intently enough to listen on 1.5x speed, that makes it a much smoother listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A visceral, painful, enlightening experience.

This is a hard listen. Powerful, moving to tears, and action-inspiring. The bitterest truths often are, and I can't help but stare at the mirror this book provides, the sense of dread I feel about how I've helped oppress, or normalize the oppression of those around me.

This is the work of my generation - to fight for a world that doesn't require others to be crushed.

Thank you, doctor.

1 person found this helpful

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Unerving enlightenment!

This book was eye opening and heart wrenching to read...but a necessary read for everyone!

1 person found this helpful

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Beginning of an educational journey

This book is the beginning of my self education on racial disparity and implicit bias. I had no idea how truly unaware I was on so many levels. Thank you for a huge life lesson and making me realize we all have to do our part to truly change this problem.

1 person found this helpful

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Só True

This book was enlightening with good stories to help me understand how we become bias without even knowing it. I am sad because I could not finish the book Audible would download Chapter 9 on.