“The ways that human decisionmakers may subtly adjust criteria in real time to modify their judgments of merit has significance for thinking about the ways that implicit bias may potentially influence employment decisions. In effect, bias can influence decisions in ways contrary to the standard and seemingly commonsensical model. The conventional legal model describes behavior as a product of discrete and identifiable motives. This research suggests, however, that implicit motivations might influence behavior and that we then rationalize those decisions after the fact. Hence, some employment decisions might be motivated by implicit bias but rationalized post hoc based on nonbiased criteria. This process of reasoning from behavior to motives, as opposed to the folk-psychology assumption that the arrow of direction is from motives to behavior, is, in fact, consistent with a large body of contemporary psychological research.”

Source: Hon. Mark W. Bennett, Devon Carbado, Pam Casey, Jerry Kang,  et al. “Implicit Bias In The Courtroom.” 56 UCLA L. Review 1124, 1159. 2012.

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