Bias in the justice system is real, and the death penalty reveals it
March 2019 - Read the full article at The Los Angeles Times
When Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended the death penalty in California last week, he cited an “ineffective, irreversible and immoral” process that, from trial to execution, is tainted by racial discrimination. African Americans bear the brunt of the bigotry; they’re the most overrepresented on death row. In a state that is only 6% black, more than one-third of defendants sentenced to death in California are black. Decades of studies have uncovered ways that race can tip the scales. For example, in capital cases where the victim is white, defendants are significantly more likely to receive a death sentence than when the victim is black.
The Startling Ways Our Brains Process Racial Difference
March 2019 - Read the full article at Medium
The Asian women were easy targets. They were a group the robbers predicted would not resist: middle-aged, frail, unfamiliar with English, and — crucially — unable to identify the black teenagers who snatched the purses from their arms.
Racial 'disparity' in police respect
June 2017 - Read the full article at BBC News
While bodycam footage has been used as evidence in criminal cases - including some where complaints have been made against police - the aim of this study was to turn this continuously gathered footage into data and use that to track and improve everyday policing. "These routine interactions are important," said lead scientist Prof Jennifer Eberhardt, "they're the way most people encounter the police."
Police Are Less Respectful Toward Black Drivers, Report Finds
June 2017 - Read the full article at The New York Times
“I hope that people respect the fact that we are the only police department that’s willing to step out and look at these type of things,” he said. “I hope that they see promise in that a law enforcement agency is willing to take on this issue.” Dr. Eberhardt emphasized that the findings did not necessarily indicate racial bias on the part of individual police officers. “On the whole, officers were respectful to people,” she said. “It’s just that they were more respectful to whites than they were to blacks.”
A Hard Look at How We See Race
September 2015 - Read the full article at Stanford Magazine
The first time Jennifer Eberhardt presented her research at a law enforcement conference, she braced for a cold shoulder. How much would streetwise cops care what a social psychology professor had to say about the hidden reaches of racial bias? Instead, she heard gasps, the loudest after she described an experiment that showed how quickly people link black faces with crime or danger at a subconscious level.
Oakland tries to address how deeply rooted biases affect law enforcement
December 16, 2014 - Read or watch the full article at PBS
"I think people are feeling vulnerable in different ways on both sides. I mean, you have community members who feel vulnerable around the police. And then there’s a vulnerability on the police side, where, when something happens in Ferguson or anywhere in the country, police departments all over the nation feel it." - Jennifer Eberhardt
Police expectations damage black men's realities
December 5, 2014 - Read the full column at The Los Angeles Times
"Research shows that people associate 'blackness' with 'threat.' ... It's not something that is just about the police. It's not something that is just about white people." - Jennifer Eberhardt
Cleveland native Jennifer Eberhardt awarded "genius grant"
September 19, 2014 - Read the full story at The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Thirty milliseconds -- the blink of an eye -- is all the time needed to trigger a racial bias. That's the amount of time that Stanford University social psychologist and Cleveland native Jennifer Eberhardt used when showing almost-subliminal images of black or white men to test subjects who were then timed on how long it took them to recognize the fuzzy image of a gun or other crime-related object as it came into focus.
Stanford Psychologist Wins 'Genius' Grant for Work on Racial Bias
September 19, 2014 - KQED Radio
On Wednesday, Stanford social psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, known as "genius" award. Eberhardt's work examines our subtle, unconscious racial biases and the effect these hidden prejudices have on the justice system. Eberhardt joins us to discuss her research and her recent work with the Oakland Police Department analyzing racial profiling data.
Stanford's Jennifer Eberhardt Wins MacArthur 'Genius' Grant
September 17, 2014 - Read full story at The Los Angeles Times
Jennifer Eberhardt is fascinated with objects. It may seem an incongruous fixation for a social psychologist, but it helped the Stanford University associate professor land a spot among the creative and academic elite Wednesday, when the MacArthur Foundation awarded her its "genius" fellowship.
MacArthur Awards Go to 21 Diverse Fellows
September 17, 2014 - Read full story at The New York Times
Twelve men and nine women, whose work is as diverse as studying the racial elements in perceptions of crime and translating contemporary Arab poetry, have been named the 2014 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
2014 MacArthur 'Genius Grant' Winners Unveiled
September 17, 2014 - Read full story at The Associated Press
A professor whose research is helping a California police department improve its strained relationship with the black community and a lawyer who advocates for victims of domestic abuse are among the 21 winners of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants."
Stanford scholar named MacArthur fellow
September 17, 2014 - Read full story at The Stanford Report
Stanford psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt, who studies race and the law, has been named one of the 2014 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Meet the 21 New MacArthur Fellows
September 17, 2014 - Read full story at The Wall Street Journal
Jennifer L. Eberhardt, 49, a social psychologist at Stanford University, is investigating the subtle ways people racially categorize each other and the impact of stereotypic associations between race and crime.
Stanford professor wins MacArthur grant for her study of biases
September 16, 2014 - Read full story at The San Francisco Chronicle
A Stanford social scientist who studies biases that creep into the thinking of people who don't realize they are prejudiced - and uses the information to help police avoid racial profiling - is among 21 winners of this year's lucrative MacArthur grants, to be announced Wednesday.
Stanford professor wins MacArthur 'genius grant' for racial awareness studies
September 16, 2014 - Read full story at San Jose Mercury News
America is pushing forward in a post-racial society, blind to skin color. That's the conventional wisdom. But the research of Jennifer Eberhardt, the Bay Area's newest and only recipient of the famed MacArthur fellowship, the "genius grants," has proved otherwise.
Oakland overseer praises progress, but questions police stops
September 16, 2014 - Read full story at The Oakland Tribune
The Police Department soon may "cross the finish line" in its 11-year effort to complete court-mandated reforms, but judicial oversight is likely to continue for some time, the department's powerful overseer wrote Monday.
The department has hired Stanford University professor Jennifer Eberhardt to review and map data from police stops.
Ferguson Isn't About Black Rage Against Cops. It's White Rage Against Progress.
August 29, 2014 - Read full story at The Washington Post
When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we've actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.
And think of a recent study by Stanford University psychology researchers concluding that, when white people were told that black Americans are incarcerated in numbers far beyond their proportion of the population, "they reported being more afraid of crime and more likely to support the kinds of punitive policies that exacerbate the racial disparities," such as three-strikes or stop-and-frisk laws.
Whites Favor Harsh Sentencing Policies After Seeing Images of Black Prisoners
August 14, 2014 - Read full story at Mother Jones
We still don't know definitively what made a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shoot and kill an unarmed black teen in broad daylight this past weekend. What we do know is that minorities in the United States—particularly black men—are over-represented in their interactions with the criminal justice system: African Americans make up less than 14 percent of the nation's population, but 40 percent of the prison population.
Yet highlighting these disparities may actually hurt blacks more than help them, according to a study published last week in Psychological Science. The Stanford University researchers, Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt, conducted two experiments that showed how making white people aware of the high numbers of blacks in prison actually made them more likely to pursue harsher punishments.
Telling white people the criminal justice system is racist makes them like it more
August 7, 2014 - Read full story at Vox
America's criminal justice system disproportionately hurts people of color, particularly black and Hispanic men. Supporters of criminal-justice reform tend to point to that disparity as a good reason to change the system.
The study, which was conducted by Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt of Stanford University and published in Psychological Science, consisted of two experiments.
White People Are Fine With Laws That Harm Blacks
August 7, 2014 - Read full story at Slate
When I want to emphasize a point on criminal justice reform, I lead with the data. There are huge racial gaps in arrests, convictions, and sentences. I'm shocked by the statistics and assume that's also true of readers.
But according to a new study from Stanford University psychologists Rebecca C. Hetey and Jennifer L. Eberhardt, the stats-first approach to issues of race and incarceration isn't effective—in fact, it's potentially counterproductive.
Stanford Research Suggests Support for Incarceration Mirrors Whites' Perception of Black Prison Populations
August 6, 2014 - Read full story in the Stanford Report
Although African-Americans constitute only 12 percent of America's population, they represent 40 percent of the nation's prison inmates.
Stanford psychology researchers Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt found that when white people were told about these racial disparities, they reported being more afraid of crime and more likely to support the kinds of punitive policies that exacerbate the racial disparities.
Blacks in Prison: Perception and Punishment
June 6, 2014 - Read full story at Association for Psychological Science
Everyone has heard the statistics on the incarceration of Black Americans, but they bear repeating. Blacks make up nearly 40 percent of the inmates in the nation's prisons, although they are only 12 percent of the U.S. population. Some experts estimate that one in every four Black men will spend some time behind bars during his lifetime. There is no explanation for this disparity that is okay.
That's the question that two Stanford University psychological scientists have been exploring. Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt knew from past research on individual stereotyping that people link blackness with violent crime. Also, the "blacker" defendants look, they more likely people are to punish them harshly. The scientists wondered if the same dynamic might be at work with institutions. That is, might the perceived blackness of the prisons increase acceptance of punitive laws and policies?
Stanford SPARQ Sparks Change
March 2014 - Read full story at Association for Psychological Science
When Nalini Ambady joined the Stanford University Department of Psychology in 2011, she successfully lobbied for seed funding to start a new center. She wanted not just a think tank, but a "do tank" that would help policymakers, educators, and nonprofit leaders apply social psychology's insights and methods to their work. She enlisted social psychologists and APS Fellows Hazel Rose Markus and Jennifer Eberhardt as her associate directors, and hired me to guide strategy and communications.
"Many social psychologists join the field because they want to address issues like racism, poverty, and war," notes Eberhardt, now SPARQ faculty codirector. "But then they discover that most of social psychology's insights remain locked in journals and conferences. SPARQ is figuring out how to get those insights into the hands of the people who need them most."
The Race Factor in Trying Juveniles as Adults
June 5, 2012 - Read full story in The New York Times
Americans have accepted that juveniles are different from adults. Scientists confirm this, showing that there are significant differences in reasoning abilities, impulse control and neurological development. Courts across the country have separate justice systems for most juvenile suspects, and in 2005 the Supreme Court said that even if tried as an adult, a juvenile cannot be sentenced to death.
Stanford Psychologists Examine How Race Affects Juvenile Sentencing
May 24, 2012 - Read full story in the Stanford Report
When it comes to holding children accountable for crimes they commit, race matters.
According to a new study by Stanford psychologists, if people imagine a juvenile offender to be black, they are more willing to hand down harsher sentences to all juveniles.
The Stanford research was inspired, in part, by the cases most recently before the high court, said Jennifer Eberhardt, senior author of the study.
"The statistics out there indicate that there are racial disparities in sentencing juveniles who have committed severe crimes," said Eberhardt, associate professor of psychology. "That led us to wonder, to what extent does race play a role in how people think about juvenile status?"
Links Between Race and Crime Topic of Kellogg Talk
October 24, 2008 - Read full story at Kellogg School of Management
Some may think that race is no longer an issue in America, but studies prove racial bias still plays a big role in society, linking black Americans with crime and even animal-like features.
That was Stanford University Professor Jennifer Eberhardt's message to the nearly 100 people who attended her Oct. 22 discussion in the Norris University Center. The talk began the second series of lectures sponsored by the Center on the Science of Diversity, a collaboration between the Kellogg School and Northwestern University's Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences.
Discrimination Against Blacks is Linked to Dehumanization, According to Paper
February 7, 2008 - Read full story at Stanford Report
Crude historical depictions of African Americans as ape-like may have disappeared from mainstream U.S. culture, but research presented in a new paper by psychologists at Stanford, Pennsylvania State University and the University of California-Berkeley reveals that many Americans subconsciously associate blacks with apes.
Co-author Jennifer Eberhardt, a Stanford associate professor of psychology who is black, said she was shocked by the results, particularly since they involved subjects born after Jim Crow and the civil rights movement. "This was actually some of the most depressing work I have done," she said. "This shook me up. You have suspicions when you do the work—intuitions—you have a hunch. But it was hard to prepare for how strong [the black-ape association] was—how we were able to pick it up every time."
The Top 6 Mind & Brain Stories of 2006
December 23, 2006 - Read full story at Discover Magazine
Study after study has shown that black defendants are more likely than white ones to receive the death penalty. But according to a paper published in Psychological Science in May, it's not just whether you're black that matters in capital sentencing; it's also how black you look.
After gathering photos of defendants eligible for the death penalty, all convicted in Philadelphia between 1979 and 1999, Stanford University psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt and her team asked students to rate how "stereotypically black" each person looked.