Implicit bias and social schema: a transactive memory approach

  • Valerie SoonEmail author


To what extent should we focus on implicit bias in order to eradicate persistent social injustice? Structural prioritizers argue that we should focus less on individual minds than on unjust social structures, while equal prioritizers think that both are equally important. This article introduces the framework of transactive memory into the debate to defend the equal priority view. The transactive memory framework helps us see how structure can emerge from individual interactions as an irreducibly social product. If this is right, then debiasing interventions are structural interventions. One upshot is that the utility of the individual versus structural distinction is not apparent for the purposes of intervention.


Social structure Explanation Philosophy of social science Implicit bias 



Funding was provided by the Graduate School and Department of Philosophy, Duke University. Many thanks to Felipe de Brigard, Bryce Huebner, Wayne Norman, Alexandra Oprea, Carlotta Pavese, Joshua August Skorburg, and various anonymous referees for helpful comments and feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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