Magazine
Latest Issue

Shortcuts to stereotypes

A useful account of unconscious bias lacks sustained solutions

By Kate Womersley   July 2020

Behavioural scientist Pragya Agarwal Photo: Handout

Attractive people are less likely to commit crimes. Regional accents are not to be trusted. Hurricanes with male names are riskier than those with female ones. In Sway, behavioural scientist Pragya Agarwal enumerates the variety of our unconscious biases, and the ways in which they shape individual behaviour and public life.

The book catalogues different types of bias—racism, sexism, ageism—as well as the mind’s cognitive shortcuts that sustain them. These include present bias (giving greater importance to the now than the  future), confirmation…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect