Perception Institute inspires people to live their values.

Our brains like to be right, our hearts strive to be good. The very experience of identity difference, however, can send these basic human impulses into a state of agitation. Unless disrupted, stereotypes embedded in our brains can turn into implicit bias and lead to discrimination over time. And racial anxiety — the concern that we might confirm our own biases or experience bias from someone else — makes racial navigation even more challenging.

Research: Science & Perception

Recent research in psychology, neuroscience, and the social sciences has made huge strides in understanding how automatic processes in the brain shape our perceptions, our actions and our decision-making. Research also gives us insights into how we can override our biases to bring them more in line with our conscious values. Learn how Perception uses research to identify and dismantle biases.

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Representation: Culture & Perception

Media, entertainment, and other forms of popular culture play a significant role in shaping our perceptions of others. For many of us, popular culture is the primary way we learn about people who are different from us. The problem, though, is that many representations are based on cultural stereotypes, which tend to marginalize and caricature members of non-dominant groups. Perception Institute harnesses social science research on the power of narratives to shift perceptions and uses this evidence base to upend and expand current representation.

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Reality: Living & Perception

Stereotyping and bias are universal human phenomena. No one is immune from the effects of implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat. These phenomena have serious impacts on our decisions and on the way we treat each other in every sphere of our daily lives.

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Our goal is conversation, not confrontation. Perception’s approach helps organizations achieve their goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion by applying the latest research in the mind sciences to everyday interactions at the individual and institutional levels. We bring together organizational stakeholders and researchers to test solutions, bring them to scale, and build metrics for institutional accountability to encourage forward momentum. We are driven by a healthy optimism undergirded by the exciting empirical evidence that it is possible to override bias and navigate differences in ways that create better experiences and opportunities for all.

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