Jay Van Bavel is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science with an affiliation at the Stern School of Business in Management and Organizations at New York University where he teaches one of the largest courses in the university.
Jay Van Bavel conducts award-winning research on how collective concerns—group identities, moral values, and political beliefs—shape the brain and behavior. He has published over 60 academic papers on implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, group identity, team formation, cooperation, motivation, and the social brain.
Jay Van Bavel has written about his research for the public in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American. He has appeared on Through the Wormhole on the Science Channel and NBC News, been interviewed on WNYC, Bloomberg News, and NPR, and had his work profiled in international media and been cited in the US Supreme Court.
Jay has given a TEDx talk at the Skoll World Forum as well as invited talks at many of the top Psychology Departments and Business Schools in the world (Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Oxford, Stanford). He has also given featured talks at international conferences and numerous organizations (e.g., Uber, Amazon, Reed Smith, Canadian Space Agency).
Jay Van Bavel's research has received several awards, including the Young Investigator Award for distinguished contributions in social neuroscience from the Society for Social Neuroscience, the Young Scholars Award for outstanding achievements in social and personality psychology from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science. He is currently writing a book on the social brain.
Human beings evolved in groups, and most of us still live and work in groups every day. Our affinity for groups is wired deeply into our minds and brains. One of the most remarkable features of human nature is our ability to cooperate with people – even putting ourselves at great risk to save a complete stranger. This is why sports fans can show up to a stadium and immediately share common purpose with 100,000 complete strangers. It also explains why some groups succeed and others fail.
Drawing from original neural science research conducted in his lab at NYU, Jay Van Bavel explains the science behind group cooperation. You will learn how people develop group identities and understand the forces that bind us together. This will allow you to understand how otherwise selfish individuals can become cooperative – and even altruistic – when they identify with a group. Van Bavel will then explain how people – from CEOs to new recruits – can nudge groups towards cooperation and away from selfish behavior. This will allow your team to harness cooperation to create groups that are more efficient, successful, and, ultimately, happier.
The human mind operates like an iceberg: although we are aware of a great deal of our mental life, it is nothing compared to our unconscious. In the past few decades, scientists have developed methods to better understand the mental shortcuts that people use to navigate their social universe. Jay Van Bavel will describe how our preferences for certain individuals and social groups such as those based on race, gender and age are triggered automatically and often outside our conscious awareness—known as implicit bias.
Implicit bias is not about racism or bigotry per se. As research from Van Bavel’s laboratory suggests, implicit bias is often grounded in a basic human tendency to divide the social world into groups. In other words, what may appear as an example of tacit racism may actually be a manifestation of a broader propensity to think in terms of “us versus them.” Thus, everyone with a brain has the potential to develop and express implicit bias towards outgroups.
Through vivid examples and scientific studies, you will learn how scientists measure implicit bias, how they develop, and what you can do about them. Unfortunately, efforts to make people aware of implicit bias often fail to change their behavior--and can even backfire. But understanding the science will allow you to learn what works, and what doesn’t work, when addressing implicit bias. By the end of this talk, you will better understand what you can do to address implicit bias in the workplace.
Jay Van Bavel started conducting research into the psychology and neuroscience of implicit bias 15 years ago and has published on this topic in top scientific journals as well as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Scientific American. His research on implicit bias has been cited by numerous other media sources as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.
Golden Dozen Teaching Award, NYU (2019): the College of Arts and Science recognizes faculty for their outstanding contribution to learning in the classroom.
Kavli Foundation Scientist-Writer Fellowship (2015)
APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for transformative early career contributions (2015)
SAGE Young Scholars Award for outstanding contributions to personality & social psychology (2015)
SESP Elected Fellow (2014)
S4SN Young Investigator Award for distinguished contributions in social neuroscience (2012)
University of Michigan Training Course in fMRI Fellowship (2010)
SPSP Student Publication Award (Honorable Mention; 2009)
SPSSI Social Issues Dissertation Award (2009)
SESP Dissertation Award (Finalist; 2009)
CPA Certificate of Academic Excellence for Dissertation (2009)
Summer Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience Fellowship (2007)
SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship (2006)
APS Student Research Award (2006)
CPA Certificate of Academic Excellence for Masters Thesis (2005)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2004, 2005)
John Davidson Ketchum Memorial Graduate Award (2004)
News Mentions, Interviews, Articles and Links:
The Roots of Implicit Bias in the New York Times
The Problem with Rewarding Individual Performers in the Harvard Business Review
Seven Steps to Reduce Bias in Hiring in the Wall Street Journal (if you are not a WSJ subscriber, reach out and we'll send you a PDF)
In the Lab, Failure Is Part of the Job Description in The Chronicle of Higher Education