Broadening the Lens of Stereotype and Bias: Perspectives from Charm City.
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work14 pages
Citation of Original PublicationFarley, S.D., Thompson, R. J. (2016). Broadening the Lens of Stereotype and Bias: Perspectives from Charm City. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice. 9(3), 550-557.
In the focal article, Ruggs et al. (2016) outline the ways in which psychological theory and research can provide insight into the potential underlying processes behind recent conflict between law enforcement officials and the community. These incidents have led to national questions regarding the training and standard operating procedure of police, as well as society’s beliefs about the prevalence of stereotyping. The authors identify how psychological research, and social psychological and industrial–organizational research in particular, can play a role in shaping these issues for organizational practices moving forward. We agree that psychologists can and should play a pivotal role in understanding and shaping these issues. As psychologists who were living and working in Baltimore during one of the incidents cited in the focal article and who care deeply about the Baltimore community that was so profoundly affected by the unrest, we feel compelled to add our voice into the conversation about the unique role that researchers have in addressing social and organizational questions. However, we contend that while psychologists are currently studying these questions, some of the most relevant research may contribute controversial and complex findings, findings that may not suggest a “one-size-fits-all” solution. In line with this, we assert that the best methods for addressing these issues within organizations involve reducing the unique stressors that exacerbate implicit bias rather than developing selection procedures to identify potential bias. The focus of our commentary is to highlight recent research examining these specific issues in order to offer more nuanced solutions that can meaningfully serve organizations, employees, and applicants, all of whom operate within a highly regulated legal context.