A New Path – Tom

It is a new semester, and my independent is taking a very new direction. I wrapped up my game theory course, and now I am moving onto implicit bias. Like Alyssa said, implicit bias is changes in how people act based on subconscious factors. It is often in the headlines these days due to how it affects many different aspects of our society, be it college admissions or racial profiling.

Now many of you might be wondering how implicit bias could at all be connected to game theory, so let my lay out my plan. Both areas of study are centered around how people make decisions. My idea is to use the link so that I can have game theory support my study of implicit bias. My focus is going to be a lot different from that of Alyssa’s, as she was more focused on combating implicit bias while I am more focused on simply illuminating it. I want to see how various factors change the decisions people make.

But first, before I jump into designing my own study, I need to do some research to prepare myself. This research has two parts to it. First, creating a better understanding of how implicit bias works and exists in our society. Second, I need to look into the works of other people who have also used game theory in their study of implicit bias. I have already found a few sources that I will be working my way through. There is
Race, Gender, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma, which happens to be the paper that helped solidify the idea for my independent. Another source I will be reading soon is Community Perception: The Ability to Assess the Safety of Unfamiliar Neighborhoods and Respond Adaptively, which uses a version of the prisoner’s dilemma to show how people act differently based on where they think the other player is from.

One part of my research I want to focus on is how human research studies are conducted. Just looking at the table of contents for one of my sources, it’s easy to tell there are a lot of parts that go into it. It includes a literature review, research methodology, the quantitative results, and also the open-ended data results. So one goal of my research is to figure out how each of these different parts work so that I may be able to use a similar conduct in my study.

In further posts, I will keep you updated on how my work is progressing and any interesting things I learn.

Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “A New Path – Tom

  1. dexcoengilbert

    This sounds really cool! I can definitely see how game theory and implicit bias is connected. I thought Alyssa’s presentation was fascinating and I can’t wait to see the data you churn out!

  2. Silver Fu

    Tom, your topic seems very intriguing. The science behind people’s decision making process is definitely worth exploring. I see implicit bias not only in social justice issues, but also through the fact that people might self-rationalize their own actions and therefore subconsciously overlook many potential shortcomings or alternative approaches. I wish you all the best as you explore the linkages between game theory and implicit bias.


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