What Is In A Name? Our Bias

Adam Alter's response to the question, "What's in a name?", is "Everything". We can pass judgment based simply on a person's name. Alter's article talks more about how names given to hurricanes influence donations. Apparently, if a hurricane shares the same initial as a person's name, that person is more likely to help the victims. Our biases toward names, however, can have a much more nefarious root. For instance, we can compare the two names, Greg and Darnell. Greg is typically a White name while Darnell is typically Black. Attach either one of these names in a teacher referral for discipline to a principal and one can find that the punishment is influenced by the name. The name Darnell gets the shorter end of the stick. This is precisely what researchers in Berkeley have recently found in a study of how middle and high school principals in a school district in the Southeastern United States make disciplinary decisions.

Above copied from

Our implicit bias makes it clear that school suspensions are wrong and need to be abandoned. The bias shows even without knowing the race of a child. All it takes is the name.

This implicit bias makes what I have said in a previous post,
School Suspensions: Are These Discriminatory Or Simply Wrong?,  of more pressing concern.
School suspensions are not just discriminatory. Suspensions do not help, which makes the fact that blacks, the disabled, and boys are more likely to be suspended a much greater travesty.,


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