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Mahzarin R. Banaji  

Psychologist at Harvard University Known for Popularizing the Concept of Implicit Bias

Mahzarin R. Banaji is an American psychologist at Harvard University, known for her work popularizing the concept of implicit bias in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors.

Banaji served as the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Chair in Human Dynamics at the Santa Fe Institute, 2011-2015. She is currently Senior Advisor to the Dean of the FAS on Faculty Development and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.

Banaji was named Harvard College Professor for excellence in undergraduate teaching. 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, in 2015 inducted as Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2018 elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2016 Banaji received the William James Fellow Award for “a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology” from the APS, an organization of which she also served as president. In 2017 Banaji received the APA’s Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution.

Banaji studies the disparities between conscious expressions of values, attitudes and beliefs on the one hand, and less conscious, implicit representations of mental content. She has primarily studied social attitudes and beliefs in adults and children, relying on multiple methods including cognitive/affective behavioral measures, computational approaches, and neuroimaging.


Mahzarin R. Banaji
Mahzarin R. Banaji (Boston, United States) Professor of Psychology & Social Ethics, Harvard University
Everyone is biased: Harvard professor’s work reveals we barely know our own minds
Mahzarin R. Banaji was starting out as an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University in the late 1980s, at a time when women professors were scarce enough that administrators eager to offer a class on the psychology of gender turned to her. Banaji had no expertise in the area; her research focused on memory. But she said she would do it, and she quickly found herself inhabiting the overlapping worlds of gender studies and psychology.

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