Do theories of implicit race bias change moral judgments?

Social Justice Research 23:272-289 (2010)
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Abstract

Recent work in social psychology suggests that people harbor “implicit race biases,” biases which can be unconscious or uncontrollable. Because awareness and control have traditionally been deemed necessary for the ascription of moral responsibility, implicit biases present a unique challenge: do we pardon discrimination based on implicit biases because of its unintentional nature, or do we punish discrimination regardless of how it comes about? The present experiments investigated the impact such theories have upon moral judgments about racial discrimination. The results show that different theories differ in their impact on moral judgments: when implicit biases are defined as unconscious, people hold the biased agent less morally responsible than when these biases are defined as automatic (i.e., difficult to control), or when no theory of implicit bias is provided.

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Citations of this work

Responsibility for implicit bias.Jules Holroyd - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3).
Implicit bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Attributionism and Moral Responsibility for Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):765-786.
Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility.Alex Madva - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):53-78.

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