The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

Mahzarin R. Banaji

Photo of Mahzarin Banaji
Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology, Harvard University and George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Chair in Human Dynamics, Santa Fe Institute

Mahzarin Banaji taught at Yale University from 1986-2002 where she was Reuben Post Halleck Professor of Psychology. Since then and at present she is Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and simultaneously George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Chair in Human Dynamics at the Santa Fe Institute (2011-2014). She also served as the first Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard from 2002-2008.

In 2005, Banaji was elected fellow of the Society for Experimental Psychologists, in 2008 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 was named Herbert A. Simon Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science (of which she was President).

Banaji is devoted to undergraduate and graduate education, serving as Director of Undergraduate Studies at Yale, as Head Tutor at Harvard, and won Yale’s Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence. For her research she has been awarded a James McKeen Cattell Award, the Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Santa Fe Institute. In 2000, her work with R. Bhaskar received the Gordon Allport Prize for Intergroup Relations and her career contributions were recognized by a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association in 2007. She also received the Carol and Ed Diener Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Psychology in 2009.

Banaji studies unconscious thinking and feeling as they unfold in social context. She has primarily studied social attitudes and beliefs in adults and children, relying on multiple methods including cognitive/affective behavioral measures and neuroimaging (fMRI). With these, she explores the implications of her work for questions of individual responsibility and social justice in democratic societies. Her current research interests focus on the origins of social cognition and applications of implicit cognition to improve organizational practices.

For more information on her research and teaching, see her website here.

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