Noûs 52 (3):611-644 (2018)

Michael Brownstein
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
Alex Madva
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
How do cognition and affect interact to produce action? Research in intergroup psychology illuminates this question by investigating the relationship between stereotypes and prejudices about social groups. Yet it is now clear that many social attitudes are implicit. This raises the question: how does the distinction between cognition and affect apply to implicit mental states? An influential view—roughly analogous to a Humean theory of action—is that “implicit stereotypes” and “implicit prejudices” constitute two separate constructs, reflecting different mental processes and neural systems. On this basis, some have also argued that interventions to reduce discrimination should combat implicit stereotypes and prejudices separately. We propose an alternative framework. We argue that all putative implicit stereotypes are affect-laden and all putative implicit prejudices are “semantic,” that is, they stand in co-activating associations with concepts and beliefs. Implicit biases, therefore, consist in “clusters” of semantic-affective associations, which differ in degree, rather than kind. This framework captures the psychological structure of implicit bias, promises to improve the power of indirect measures to predict behavior, and points toward the design of more effective interventions to combat discrimination.
Keywords Implicit Social Cognition  Stereotypes  Prejudice  Discrimination  Implicit Bias  Affect
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1111/nous.12182
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References found in this work BETA

The Modularity of Mind.Robert Cummins & Jerry Fodor - 1983 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):101.
Alief and Belief.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Wrongs of Racist Beliefs.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2497-2515.
Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Structure of Bias.Gabbrielle M. Johnson - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1193-1236.

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