Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Legal Studies

Reader 1

Dr. Mark Golub

Reader 2

Dr. Jennifer Groscup

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Rights Information

2018 M. B. Roderique


Given the ever-growing body of evidence surrounding implicit bias in and beyond the institution of the law, there is an equally growing need for the law to respond to the accurate science of prejudice in its aspiration to objective practice and just decision-making. Examined herein are the existing legal conceptualizations of implicit bias as utilized in the courtroom; implicit bias as peripheral to law and implicit bias as effectual in law, but not without active resolution. These views and the interventional methods, materials, and procedures they inspire are widely employed to appreciably “un-bias” legal actors and civic participants; however, without an accurate conceptualization of the science of prejudice in law, these interventions are likely doing more harm than good. On the basis that these interventional techniques are unscientific in their methodology, reliant upon a misleading theory of transparency of mind, deny the inherently emotional and biased origin of the court, and are disseminated largely technocratically, they fail to serve their intended purpose. In actuality, they reinforce systemic intergroup biases and are seen to produce a lesser objective justice. This project reiterates, as with so many aspects of justice, that there must be the same care taken in the address of those structural and institutional contributions to implicit bias that the enterprise of law perpetuates in and of itself as have been taken in the address of our individual cognitive predispositions toward discrimination.