Diversity Science Lab

Calvin Lai, PhD | Washington University in St. Louis

We study how to reduce hidden or implicit biases.

Hidden biases within the mind create a gap between what people value (e.g., racial equality) and what people do (e.g., racial discrimination). Our research seeks to close this gap by understanding how these bias work, figuring out to reduce it, and developing interventions for addressing its consequences.

Recent Lab Updates

01/12/20 Calvin Lai has published a paper in Annual Review of Psychology titled “Implicit Social Cognition.
12/05/19 Job market success! Pierce Ekstrom has accepted an assistant professorship at University of Nebraska – Lincoln, starting in Fall 2020.
08/09/19 Calvin Lai has published a paper in Journal of Personality & Social Psychology titled “A Meta-Analysis of Procedures to Change Implicit Measures.”
07/05/19 Calvin Lai has published a paper in JAMA Network Open titled “Estimating Implicit and Explicit Gender Bias among Healthcare Professionals and Surgeons.”
04/29/19 Max Klapow presented a poster at the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Research Symposium titled “Who Is Racist?“.
03/23/19 Calvin Lai has published a paper in Perspectives on Psychological Science titled “Scientific Utopia: III. Crowdsourcing Science.”
02/09/19 Megan Wilson presented two posters at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference titled “The Role of Ambiguity in Sexual Categorization” and “Mental Representations of Racists”.
02/09/19 Pierce Ekstrom presented a poster at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference titled “We’re Good People: Moral Conviction as Social Identity”. 
02/09/19 Jackie Lisnek presented a poster at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference titled “Using the Bible to Mitigate Christians’ Zero-Sum Beliefs and Bias Towards LGBT Individuals”.
01/07/19 Calvin Lai has published a paper in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology titled “Reducing Discrimination: A Bias Versus Noise Perspective”.
07/27/18 It is outgoing Lab Manager Joel Le Forestier’s last day! He is going on to pursue a PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Toronto!
07/15/18 Calvin Lai published a paper in the Journal of Environmental Psychology titled “Explicit (but not implicit) environmentalist identity predicts pro-environmental behavior and policy preferences“.
04/19/18 Calvin Lai wrote an article about implicit bias-focused diversity training for The Conversation, which was picked up by Newsweek, Time, CBS News, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and many other outlets.
04/13/18 Research Assistant Gina Vellequette presents a poster at Washington University’s Spring 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Lab in the News

08/19 Medical professionals of both genders link the word ‘career’ with men
 What’s considered a microaggression?
11/18 Google got rid of ‘Smart Compose’ pronouns because humans are sexist
11/18 The Pathology of Prejudice (The New Republic)
08/18 ‘Inequality wasn’t the intention, but inequality was the outcome’: Addressing bias in AI software (St. Louis Public Radio)
05/18 Back-to-back racial profiling allegations in St. Louis highlight need for training to combat bias (STL Today)
05/18 Top of Mind with Julie Rose – Implicit Bias (BYU Radio)
05/18 Unconscious bias training can only take you so far (HR Dive)
04/18 What’s Unconscious Bias Training, and Does it Work? (The Conversation)
Starbucks to Conduct Company-Wide Racial-Bias Training (KQED Radio)
Starbucks is Closing 8,000 Stores for One Day to Conduct “Racial Bias Training” — Will it Actually Work? (Yahoo)
  Starbucks Racial Bias Training (BBC News World Service)
04/18 Starbucks is Turning to a Type of Workplace Training that “Really Took off After Ferguson (Washington Post)
04/18 Starbucks Will Give Employees Unconscious Bias Training. That May Not Help. (Daily Beast)
04/18 Starbucks CEO Responds to Controversial Arrest of Two Black Men With “Unconscious Bias” Training — What Does This Mean? (Global News Radio – 640 Toronto)
02/18 Can Artificial Intelligence Weed Out Unconscious Bias? (CMS Wire)
01/18 This Test can Reveal Biases you Don’t Even Know you Have (Christian Science Monitor)
09/17 Why Some White St. Louis-Area Residents say Protesters are Hurting the Fight Against Racism (STL Public Radio)
08/17 Freedom Center Explores Implicit Bias (WVXU Radio)
07/17 USA Today Uses Image of Wrong Asian Man in Article Explaining… Implicit Bias (The DCist)
07/17 Why Juries Have a Hard Time Convicting Cops (USA Today)