Monday, December 22, 2008

Listen up!

Jender over at Feminist Philosophers has a post up offering some useful advice for search committees interviewing at the APA. It's all worth reading, but the best piece of advice is, I think, the first one:
Learn about and discuss research on biases and assumptions and consciously strive to minimize their influence on your evaluation. Experimental studies show that greater awareness of discrepancies between the ideals of impartiality and actual performance, together with strong internal motivations to respond without prejudice, effectively reduces prejudicial behavior.
Great advice! And advice that shouldn't only be heeded when considering women (and minority) candidates as Jender rightly emphasizes, but when considering all candidates. Search committees need to be cognizant of those biases that make the already noisy information they're getting about candidates at the APA less noisy and do something about it.

So, search committees, heed Jender's advice. Hell, I'll even make it easy on you. There's no need to do an extensive literature search, wikipedia is your best friend here. Or, if that's not your bag, just take a look at the collection of biases and interview effects helpfully collected here. Your interviewees will be much obliged.

--STBJD

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