Earlier this month, the Parents' Association KInD Committee welcomed Christopher Dial as he presented Understanding Implicit Bias: The Science Behind Making Smarter Decisions. Christopher Dial, Research Associate and Lab Manager of the Implicit Social Cognition Lab at Harvard University, provided an entertaining and interactive workshop exploring the science behind how we make decisions, how we form preferences, and how our minds are shaped by our social groups. Engaging, fun, and thought-provoking, his session illustrated concepts and research found within New York Times bestseller book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald.
Several community members who attended Mr. Dial's presentation provided the following reflections:
"Big props to King School for bringing Christopher Dial to Stamford to talk about implicit bias. Many thanks to the KInD parents for the work they do to support the Committee. And may we all be patient with ourselves and those around us as we strive to understand how our brains work for us and against us, as individuals and as groups." Wendy Skratt P'22 '24
"Christopher Dial's presentation on understanding implicit bias was highly informative and entertaining. He explained the brain science behind our biases and showed many examples of how our brain is 'preset', while we are not aware of this. His presentation was an eye opener on many levels as we all have unknown biases that affect how we interact with people in our daily lives." Miranda Linders P'22 '25 '28
"I would like to acknowledge the work done by the co-chairs of the previous Parent Diversity Committee in introducing the book Blindspot to all the members of the committee. This recent presentation explained the research conducted by psychologists Banaji and Greenwald using the implicit association test. Mr Dial explained the presence of implicit associations that our brain makes, without our awareness, between persons and certain characteristics. This unconscious bias at times leads to a discriminatory behavior, for example while choosing "the right" employee.
It was very interesting to know how our brain works in a way that leads us to make unconscious decisions based on our hidden biases. Certainly, these decisions will shape our relationships, sometimes getting unwanted results and affecting others. The presentation was very informative, interesting, and easy to follow." - Fabiola Tambini-Mallette P'20
"I appreciate the Parents' Association for bringing Christopher Dial to King. He delivered a powerful and engaging presentation that I cannot stop thinking about. Dial very thoughtfully led us to consider the unconscious biases that we all may have - even when they are completely inconsistent with our conscious thoughts and ideals! As a school community that values a diverse and inclusive environment, it is important for us to continuously challenge our biases and be aware of how our perceptions impact how we see, hear, and experience the world and each other." - Lauren Fredette P'21 '23, Director of Development.
"Dr. Dial's presentation impressively illustrated how our unconscious associations can affect the way that we engage the world we inhabit. At a time in society when we consume so much information that we barely have time to digest before assessing, it was instructive to see the value in reflecting on the role our biases play in our choices and our relationships." - Jonathan Coulombe P'30 '32, US Dean of Students.