Tony Greenwald is quoted in this article from The Stranger, which discusses potential flaws in the Starbucks Anti-Racial Bias training.
Is Starbucks Implementing Flawed Science in Their Anti-Bias Training?
by Katie Herzog • Apr 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm
In response to online and in-person protests at Starbucks after a manager at a Philadelphia cafe called the police on two black men last week, the coffee giant announced Tuesday that they will be closing over 8,000 locations in the United States on May 29 for company-wide racial bias training.
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in a statement. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”
While Starbucks has yet to release details about the racial bias training, the statement said that the training program will be "designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome."
Sounds good, right? But there's a problem.
As Jesse Singal wrote in New York magazine last year, "Perhaps no new concept from the world of academic psychology has taken hold of the public imagination more quickly and profoundly in the 21st century than implicit bias—that is, forms of bias which operate beyond the conscious awareness of individuals." The idea, broadly, is that all people (white, black, brown, etc.) hold subconscious bias against certain demographics, and this bias can be reflected in Implicit Association Tests, which were developed by Harvard University psychology chair Mahzarin Banaji and University of Washington researcher Anthony Greenwald .
Read the whole story here.
Update: Anthony Greenwald , one of the developers of the IAT, responded to my request for comment after this was published yesterday: "Starbucks would be wise to check out the scientific evidence on implicit bias training," he said. "It appears to be the right thing to do, but this training has not been shown to be effective, and it can even be counterproductive. It will appear that Starbucks is doing the right thing, but the training is not likely to change anything. The Implicit Association Test is a valuablle educational device to allow people to discover their own implicit biases. However, taking the IAT to discover one’s own implicit biases does nothing to remove or reduce those implicit biases. Desire to act free of implicit bias is not sufficient to enable action free of implicit bias."