Cover Image: The End of Bias

The End of Bias

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Member Reviews

The End of Bias is a fascinating, comprehensive look at the way in which unconscious bias impacts our thought processes and pervades every aspect of human life in relation to several variables including race, religion, disability and gender identity, to name a few. But it is also a transformative, groundbreaking exploration into how we can eradicate unintentional bias and discrimination, the great challenge of our age. The anecdotal, statistical and empirical evidence throughout these pages is staggering, and I found myself gobsmacked in some instances by what I learned. For example, as a freelance journalist just starting out, Jessica Nordell had sent editors a lot of pitches but had a hard time getting them accepted. She then began pitching under a gender-neutral name, "J.D. Nordell" — and immediately had more success despite it being the only variable that changed. The experience set her on a path of researching and writing about unconscious bias for more than a decade and eventually publishing this book. But we also see bias in education where black students are penalised more for the same infractions. We see it in the workplace where women and women of colour, in particular, are often passed over for desirable assignments. 

We see it in policing where black men are more likely to be on the receiving end of force, even when completely compliant with an officer's orders and even when no arrests are made. Implicit or unconscious bias (or it can also be termed unexamined and/or unintended bias) is persistent, unintentional prejudiced behaviour that clashes with our consciously held beliefs, and that is the primary focus of this book. We know that it exists to corrosive and even lethal effect. We see it in medicine, we see it in finance, as well as the workplace, education and beyond, and as we know from the police killings of so many Black Americans, bias can be deadly. But are we able to step beyond recognition of our prejudice to actually change it? Nordell posits that we are but that we still have far to go in our pursuit of uprooting our prejudices. With nuance, compassion and fifteen years' immersion in the topic, Nordell digs deep into the cognitive science, social psychology and developmental research that underpin current efforts to eradicate unintentional bias and discrimination and weaves gripping stories with up to the minute scientific research to reveal exactly how minds, hearts and behaviours change. 

She scrutinises diversity training, deployed across the land as a corrective but with inconsistent results. She explores what works and why: the diagnostic checklist used by doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital that eliminated disparate treatment of men and women in disease prevention; the preschool in Sweden where teachers found ingenious ways to uproot gender stereotyping: the police unit in Oregon where the practice of mindfulness and specialised training has coincided with a startling drop in the use of force. The End of Bias: A Beginning brings good news: Biased behaviour can change; the approaches outlined here can help transform ourselves and our world. Captivating, fascinating and direct, this is a timely and impeccably researched book that sets itself apart from the rest by not only exploring implicit bias but explaining how we can attempt to use the best evidence-based approaches to conquer it, too. It is filled with facts, statistics, anecdotes and empirical research illustrating just how ubiquitous the problem really is. For anyone interested in a topic that affects every single one of us regardless of who we are, this is a must-read, and I simply cannot recommend it highly enough.
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An excellent, informative, well-researched read. Jessica Nordell picks apart 'bias' revealing all the difficulties in understanding, identifying and addressing the prevalence of it in today's society. It's jam-packed with insight be that from theory, interviews or case studies that there's almost too much to get your head around. Jessica doesn't shy away from exploring and addressing her own assumptions/failings which I particularly admired and while reading, this approach encouraged me to do the same. I know I will be re-reading, recommending and referring to this in the future. A triumph.
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This book presents an analysis on how implicit bias works in us humans and how we can fight it. The author presents various methods that try to fight this unconscious bias and shows their effects on the organizations that these methods took place. I liked the book because it was really well researched and it's an eye opening book because sometimes we may not even perceive how we are affected by the implicit bias.

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC in exchange of an honest review.
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The End of Bias was undoubtedly very well written and very thoroughly researched, however sadly it wasn't the book for me and I was unable to finish it. I usually enjoy non-fiction reads, but I did find this book difficult to get into. I think for me this was because the style of writing felt quite formal and academic, although I can appreciate that Nordell tried to include some anecdotes to make the book more accessible. Essentially, The End of Bias was a little too academically written for me to find it an enjoyable read, but I would nonetheless recommend the book to anyone who wants to read a thorough study of bias in today's world.
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In-depth examination of what is termed 'implicit bias' which is absorbed from the world around us from a young age, & leads us to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, body type, etc. It's not innate though, & even unconscious bias can be dismantled.

This is a huge topic & I think the author did a good job of tackling the subject. With lots of examples of how unconscious bias works & how we can work towards removing it, it's an interesting read but at times it can be heavy going. As a woman, it is disheartening to read about how women suffer worse outcomes after hospital treatment, & still struggle to reap the same rewards as men in many work fields. Can we ever get to a point where implicit bias is no longer a factor?  I really don't know to be honest but reading this book is a good start. 

Thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Granta Publications, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
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The messages contained in this book are so important and it’s clear that the author has done a ton of research but it’s lost in translation  by how the  information is presented to the reader. It’s incredibly dense. I feel like it would engage the reader  better if it were formatted in a different way. - perhaps if the author had highlighted the most common implicit biases - race, gender, sexuality etc and focused on them a chapter at a time as well as the psychology of the bias and our implicit decision making. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion.
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I enjoyed reading this book and feel that I learned a lot from it. However, It was an incredibly dense read and took me a long time to get through it! It was full of facts (which was great) but it did mean that it wasn't the sort of book you could devour in a day. This is one to read over a few weeks (or months in my case) to get the full picture from it. I did feel that it had some similarities to other books that I have read on a similar subject. However, overall this was an excellent and enlightening read.
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I'm almost afraid to say why I've only given this 3 stars, but it was far too focused on American studies/ incidents for my liking. I know. The irony is not lost on me. It almost sounds like I want to live somewhere that is biased. The thing is I do. Britain is biased. Everywhere is. But there's hardly any mention of it as a global thing. It's uncomfortably but refreshingly honest and has made me look at myself and how biased I am. I naively found no magic wands, hints maybe, but no cures apart from personal humility, humanity and do as you would be done by with a side order of learn about the people of the world we share.
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I expected this book to have a slightly different angle, focusing more on the science, but I was pleasantly surprised (and evidently so was the author) to find it take a more personal, behavioural turn. The themes are very current, the observations very relevant to current culture and it really makes you realise how the world around you is shaping the way you act, perceive people and react. I feel this book should be mandatory reading for a lot of people, especially those in fields discussed with the book - policing, teaching etc and management in any company. It really helps to put triggers in your mind when you encounter a situation to stop and think about what you might be unintentionally conveying by your actions. Simple steps to change for everyone, and we might just get somewhere as a whole. Thanks to netgalley for the advance copy.
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This is a really interesting book. I definitely got a lot from it. 
However, it's pretty full on! Its incredibly dense and took me a long time to get through it - it was worth it but man, it was a slog!!! I wish it was broken up a little bit more, maybe smaller sections, a few illustrations. (I realise I sound like I want a children's book here - but if it was a little easier to read, I think more people would read it, and I would have enjoyed my reading experience more)

I would like to listen to this book on audio as I wonder if it would make it easier to digest.
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This is a ground changing book. From the very first page, examples are used to demonstrate the unfairness of unconscious bias. Throughout the book, examples as well as some explanations are given for unconscious bias, as well as successful work that is being done to address this issue.
The interesting fact is the resistance to this training from cynicism to aggressive opposition. Change is challenging isn't it.
Thank you for the opportunity to read this book Netgalley.
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Difficult to read at times as this is still very prevalent in today's society - we have a long way to go to re-educate ourselves.

It is a very academic read with lots of studies and first hand accounts which can make for a really heart breaking, at times. I 

Thank you NetGalley for the eArc.
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Though the concept of unconscious bias is not a new one to me, this book delves deeper than any other I’ve come across, looking at bias both in societies and within our our minds. 

The End of Bias by Jessica Nordell explores how bias leads to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, body type and many more other factors. This bias however, is a problem that can be solved, and Nordell takes us through all the research conducted over the past thirty years which hopes to eliminate unconscious bias and end this discrimination. 

 A fascinating book, Nordell speaks to a variety of people who have experienced bias in their own lives and explored the reasons why. We are immediately introduced to Ben Barres, a neurobiologist who transitioned at 43 (female to male) and was worried about how the scientific community would react. Those who did not know about the transition showed him more respect, stopped questioning his authority, no longer interrupted him during meetings and given more benefit of the doubt simply because he was male. One scientist even said that he gave a great seminar, and his work ‘is so much better than his sister’s’ (referring of cause to Ben’s earlier work!)

A book very much grounded in data and research, it is not something that I would read cover to cover but dip in and out of a chapter at a time. A fascinating and important subject, it is mind blowing how different biases have become ingrained into both our minds and cultures. 

An important book, and a must read for anyone interested in fighting discrimination and unconscious bias, both personal and societal.
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This was a thought provoking book and I read it in instalments so that I could think about what the author wrote and the case studies. 

I suppose I never really thought about bias before as I am lucky to work in a government agency which is very inclusive but it did get me thinking. 

I would recommend reading this book 

I was given an advance copy by the publishers and netgalley but the review is entirely my own.
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If you want to learn about unconscious bias and history using scholarly quotes and references; including how we can create change, then this is a great book. 
I found it a difficult read on two counts, one because it hits home how much we still have to educate ourselves and how prevalent bias still is in today’s society. We need to do more. 
Secondly, it’s very academic. This would be the perfect book to use as study material. It is filled with many examples, some will result in an aha! moment in your education and some will break your heart. 
Persevere in the book, it’s worth it. 
Thank you to Netgalley and the author for the opportunity to read this book.
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I would encourage you to get this book. It is not only well written but also honest and detailed. I know, like me, you will be pausing many times just to absorb the thoughts that are there, but it's well worth it. Excellent read.
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It was fascinating to read how subtle forms of bias can undermine people and how much needs to change. It was also extremely interesting to read of the various studies that have been done on bias proving how unconscious bias works.
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An interesting and very readable review of research and case studies showing how bias might be overcome - by individuals, and at a higher institutional or policy levels.
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I have no doubt that "The End of Bias" by Jessica Nordell is a much needed publication. After all, unconscious bias  exists, both on the personal and systemic level.

However, I am not sure that the book delivers what it promises. From the description, I was expecting more advisory approach, backed up by the results of scientific experiments. I am afraid that "The End of Bias" is too research-heavy. Maybe it is because the author wanted to back up her points with actual data, hence all the references, but I found myself feeling lost at times.

I am not quite sure if this book will appeal to the general public, where it seemed to have a lot of potential to influence much needed change. Of course, some examples were very interesting, and could be used to support designing inclusion programmes, but what was missing to me were short summaries of each concept and propositions of applicable strategies.

Popularising research, especially to facilitate change, is very important. But it also needs to be done smartly, not to create unnecessary barriers to access relevant information, case studies and advice.
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Really interesting examination of bias, and how to address it both personally and organisationally. Packed full of real world examples, and thought provoking.
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