When: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, 11 AM – 12:15 PM EST (tentative)
Where: In-Person and Virtual

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology is pleased to announce Mahzarin Banaji as the 2023 Annual Convention Constellation honoree. This program is designed to honor figures in social and personality psychology, who have had a broad influence. In order to enhance recognition of our Constellation honoree across all presentation types in 2023, we are asking submitters to identify if their presentation should include the “Constellation” tag as part of the submission process. Common reasons to identify work as part of the Constellation Program include: being connected to the honoree as a former student/postdoc/student of a student/etc., or relying on concepts, theories, and findings strongly associated with the honoree. This will enable the digital program to include the "Constellation" tag alongside other keywords.


Constellation Honoree

The Brain, The Child, and The Language Machine: Three Collaborations on Implicit Bias

Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard University

We feature three points of view, different from Banaji's own expertise that broke new ground.  They ushered in the study of the brain, the child, and large language corpora to understand implicit bias. These collaborations achieved two goals: they improved understanding of the most fundamental aspects of the core concepts surrounding implicit social cognition and they simultaneously showed its applications to societal issues stemming from implicit bias in unexpected ways.

Additional Presentations

The Neural Systems of Implicit Race Bias

Elizabeth Phelps, Harvard University

Distinct brain systems mediate the implicit and explicit expression of threat memories, which mirrors the implicit and explicit expression of race attitudes.  Based on this, Mahzarin and I hypothesized that overlapping brain systems may mediate the implicit expression of threat memories and race attitudes.  In this talk, I will review what we learned from this early study on race and the brain and how our collaborative research has evolved over the years.

The Birth of the Explicit

Yarrow Dunham, Yale University

As we wind the clock back towards early childhood, at some point all the child's knowledge is implicit. Thus, while the development of concepts of implicit cognition is the revolution in our field, it is the emergence of explicit cognition that is the far striking developmental phenomenon. I consider what this curious inversion tells us about the links between developmental and social psychology.

Implicit Machine Cognition

Aylin Caliskan, University of Washington

Artificial intelligence models automatically learn language representations, namely word embeddings, from large language corpora. To study the transfer of information from society to machines, we developed the embedding association test, which revealed that statistical regularities in language corpora contain implicit associations and biases that reflect attitudes and stereotypes. In light of these findings, implicit machine cognition provides a new domain to study implicit social cognition.

About This Year's Constellation Honoree

Mahzarin Banaji is Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Harvard University. Her Ph.D. is from Ohio State University; NIH postdoctoral fellowship at University of Washington. Recognitions include: APS's William James Fellow, APS's Cattell Fellow, APA's Distinguished Contributions to Basic Research in Psychology Award, Guggenheim fellowship, U.S. Congress's Golden Goose Award, SESP's Impact Award, SPSP's Lewin Award, Campbell Award, and Diener Award, National Academy of Science's Atkinson Award, and the Deutsch Award for Social Justice. Elected to: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, British Academy, American Philosophical Society, and Herbert Simon Fellow of the American Association of Political and Social Science. Banaji received teaching recognitions from both Yale and Harvard, and recently, APS's Mentor Award. Previously, Banaji served as Halleck Professor of Psychology at Yale; the first Carol Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Cowan Chair in Human Social Dynamics at the Santa Fe Institute.