Have you ever been told to smile more, been teased about your accent, or had your name pronounced incorrectly? If so, you’ve probably already faced bias in your everyday life. We like to believe that we are all fair-minded and egalitarian but we all carry biases that we might not even be aware of. We might believe that we live in a post-racial society, but racial tension and inequality is pernicious and pervasive. We might believe that gender inequality is a thing of the past, but it is still ubiquitous. Unconscious bias has become a frequently-used term in our vocabulary, but there are still so many myths around it. For the first time, behavioural scientist, activist and writer Dr Pragya Agarwal unravels the way our implicit or ‘unintentional’ biases affect the way we communicate and perceive the world, and how they affect our decision-making, even in life and death situations.
'Passionate and urgent.' Guardian, Book of the Week'A must-read for all.' Stylist, best new books for 2020'Cogently argued and intensely persuasive. Groundbreaking Work.' Waterstones, best new books of April'Impressive and much-needed.' Financial Times, Best Business Books April to June'Admirably detailed.' Prospect Magazine'Practical, useful, readable and essential for the times we are living in.' Nikesh Shukla'An eye-opening book that I hope will be widely read.' Angela Saini'If you think you don't need to read this book, you really need to read this book.' Jane Garvey'An eye-opening book looking at unconscious bias. Meticulously researched and well written. It will make you think hard about the judgements you make. An essential read for our times.' Kavita Puri, BBC Journalist and author For the first time, behavioural and data scientist, activist and writer Dr Pragya Agarwal unravels the way our implicit or 'unintentional' biases affect the way we communicate and perceive the world, how they affect our decision-making, and how they reinforce and perpetuate systemic and structural inequalities. Sway is a thoroughly researched and comprehensive look at unconscious bias and how it impacts day-to-day life, from job interviews to romantic relationships to saving for retirement. It covers a huge number of sensitive topics - sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, colourism - with tact, and combines statistics with stories to paint a fuller picture and enhance understanding. Throughout, Pragya clearly delineates theories with a solid grounding in science, answering questions such as: do our roots for prejudice lie in our evolutionary past? What happens in our brains when we are biased? How has bias affected technology? If we don't know about it, are we really responsible for it? At a time when partisan political ideologies are taking centre stage, and we struggle to make sense of who we are and who we want to be, it is crucial that we understand why we act the way we do. This book will enables us to open our eyes to our own biases in a scientific and non-judgmental way.