2012 Bits of Bias

Abstract: In this chapter, Prof. Jerry Kang examines how the mass media and computer mediated communications contribute to implicit bias. In particular, it diagnoses how “vicarious experiences” with other social groups, mediated through electronic communications, can create negative attitudes and stereotypes against those groups. This diagnosis discusses not only the implicit social cognitive mechanisms but also those legal and economic policies, such as the FCC’s “public interest” doctrine, that encourage particular types of content to be shown in various media channels. Finally, the chapter examines the possibility that electronic communications can counter implicit bias by exposure to debiasing content and by facilitating intergroup contact in ways that decrease prejudice.

forthcoming Implicit Bias Across the Law (Justin Levinson, Ed. Cambridge University Press 2012).

download near final draft @ SSRN