February 25, 2021: IRES Faculty Seminar with Andrew Baron

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Via Zoom

View video.


Are we born racist? The roots of implicit bias in childhood

Implicit bias has many pernicious effects on behavior including affecting hiring and voting decisions, and even treatment recommendations by medical professionals. Moreover, research shows that this form of bias is notoriously difficult to change in adults, underscoring the need to identify its roots in development. In this talk, I will examine the foundations of implicit bias in early childhood. By drawing on studies with young children, including infants, I will address the human capacity for racism. Further, I will reveal potential strategies for reducing implicit forms of bias in childhood and suggest that to disrupt the fabric of racism that has been sewn across generations of human history, childhood and not adulthood, may represent the best frontier to combat implicit bias.

Andrew Baron

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia


Dr. Baron is an Associate Professor of Psychology at UBC. His research examines the human capacity to be prejudiced. This work focuses on identifying the cognitive foundations of intergroup bias from infancy through adolescence with a particular emphasis on developing optimal strategies for reducing implicit bias.  He is also a member of the Engendering Success in STEM Consortium (http://successinstem.ca) where he spearheads a team dedicated to fostering greater engagement and interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) among primary school-aged girls. Dr. Baron is also the founder and director of the Living Lab at Science World, a community-university research partnership in Vancouver. Dr. Baron received his MA and PhD in Psychology from Harvard University.