Patricia Devine, Ph.D., a psychologist recognized for her work in intrapersonal relationships and prejudice will deliver this year's annual Dr. Marjorie H. Richey Lecture.
Devine, professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin, will present "Empowering People to Break the Prejudice Habit" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the Saint Louis Room of the Busch Student Center.
The Richey Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Saint Louis University Department of Psychology at 314-977-2301.
Devine has been a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin since 1995 and has garnered numerous awards and honors, including being elected to the Association for Psychological Science Board of Directors. She has written and edited for a number of research journals including Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition and Psychological Bulletin
About the Dr. Marjorie H. Richey Lecture
The Dr. Marjorie H. Richey Lecture was established in 1996 by SLU alumna Ann Beatty, Ph.D., CEO of Psychological Associates Inc., in St. Louis. The lectureship honors her mentor, Marjorie Richey, who died in 2005. Richey retired in 1993 after nearly 30 years on the University faculty.
Although most people consciously renounce prejudice, unconscious prejudice persists. Indeed, many people report that despite wanting to eliminate such biases, they do not know how to translate their values into behavior. Recognizing that unconscious biases are a major culprit in the perpetuation of unfairness and discrimination, prejudice researchers have sounded a clarion call to develop effective techniques to reduce such biases. In response to this call, we developed an intervention to train the conscious mind to overcome unconscious prejudice. Synthesizing my research on prejudice reduction as a habit breaking process with advances in the assessment of implicit prejudice, the intervention (1) confronts people with their implicit prejudice, (2) educates them about the consequences of implicit prejudice and (3) teaches them tools to reduce implicit prejudice. An 8-week training study showed the intervention to be effective. Those who went through training showed both greater concern over the consequences of implicit prejudice and lower levels of such prejudice two months later, compared to a control group that did not go through training. No previous work has demonstrated such long lasting and meaningful reduction in unconscious bias. Post-study responses revealed that the training was empowering and motivated participants to work to overcome unconscious prejudice. The study provides the first direct evidence that prejudice is a habit that can be broken.
Photo: Patricia Devine, Ph.D., professor at the University of Wisconsin, will deliever this year's Dr. Marjorie Richey Lecture.