2017 DEI CONFERENCE
Mahzarin R. Banaji
Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Mahzarin R. Banaji
was born and raised in India, received her PhD from Ohio State University, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Washington. From 1986-2001 she taught at Yale University where she was Reuben Post Halleck Professor of Psychology. Since then she has been Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. She also served as the first Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard from 2002-2008, and as the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Chair in Human Dynamics at the Santa Fe Institute from 2011-2015. Banaji was named Harvard College Professor for excellence in undergraduate teaching and previously won Yale’s Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence. She currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard on Faculty Development and is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.
In 2005, Banaji was elected fellow of the Society for Experimental Psychologists, in 2008 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2009 was named Herbert A. Simon Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and in 2015 was inducted as Fellow of the British Academy. She has been awarded a James McKeen Cattell Award, the Gordon Allport Prize for Intergroup Relations, the Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice, the Kurt Lewin Award for outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action, and the Carol and Ed Diener Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Psychology. Banaji has also received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association.
In 2016 Banaji received the William James Fellow Award for “a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology” from APS, an organization of which she also served as president. In 2017 Banaji received the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. Her work has been recognized by Barnard College’s highest honor, the Medal of Distinction (2014), and honorary degrees from Smith College (2015), Colgate University (2016), and the University of Helsinki (2016).
Banaji studies the disparities between conscious expressions of values, attitudes and beliefs on the one hand, and less conscious, implicit representations of mental content on the other. She has primarily studied social attitudes and beliefs in adults and children, relying on multiple methods including cognitive/affective behavioral measures and neuroimaging. She explores the implications of research for questions of individual responsibility and just treatment in democratic societies. Her current research interests focus on the origins of social cognition and applications of implicit cognition to improve organizational practices. She is the author of the book
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People
, with Anthony Greenwald.
For more information on her research and teaching, see
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