Dr. Pragya Agarwal unravels the way our implicit or "unintentional" biases affect the way we communicate and perceive the world, how they affect our decision-making, and how they reinforce and perpetuate systemic and structural inequalities.
"A fascinating and vital read."--Good Housekeeping
Sway is a thoroughly researched and comprehensive look at unconscious bias and how it impacts day-to-day life, from job interviews to romantic relationships to saving for retirement. It covers a huge number of sensitive topics - sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, colourism - with tact, and combines statistics with stories to paint a fuller picture and enhance understanding. Throughout, Pragya clearly delineates theories with a solid grounding in science, answering questions such as: do our roots for prejudice lie in our evolutionary past? What happens in our brains when we are biased? How has bias affected technology? If we don't know about it, are we really responsible for it?
At a time when partisan political ideologies are taking center stage, and we struggle to make sense of who we are and who we want to be, it is crucial that we understand why we act the way we do. This book will enables us to open our eyes to our own biases in a scientific and non-judgmental way.
About the Author
Dr Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural scientist, with expertise in cognition, HCI and User-centred Design, focussed especially in diversity and inclusivity. She was a senior academic for over 12 years at US and UK Universities, and held the prestigious Leverhulme Fellowship, following a PhD from the University of Nottingham. Pragya has published numerous scientific articles and books, some of which are on the reading list for leading courses around the world. As a freelance writer, she regularly writes thought pieces on racial and gender bias for The Guardian, Times Higher Education, Forbes, Prospect, Independent, Metro, Huffington Post and various other publications.
Pragya is a two-time TEDx speaker, and was named as one of the 100 influential women in social enterprise in the UK, and one of 50 people creating change in the UK-India corridor on the High and Mighty list. She has been invited to give keynote talks and workshops around the world, and has appeared on several international podcasts, radio and television channels, such as BBC Woman's Hour, BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 Live, BBC Merseyside, Australian Broadcasting Service, and Canadian Radio. She organised the first ever TEDxWoman event in the north of the country, and has a podcast called 'Outside the Boxes'.
She can be found on twitter as @DrPragyaAgarwal
“Agarwal's diagnosis of the political harms of bias is passionate and urgent.” —Guardian, Book of the Week
“Fascinating, sometimes challenging, read, for fans of Caroline Criado Perez's Invisible Women and Angela Saini's Superior.” —BBC Science Focus, Best Science Books of April
“A fascinating and vital read.” —Good Housekeeping
“A well-researched and cogent work. It accessibly reveals the insidious nature of stereotyping and does much to encourage readers to examine - and take responsibility for - their own implicit biases.” —Publishers Weekly
“A serious exploration of the neuroscience and psychology of bias. Solid, definitely-not-dumbed-down popular science.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Approaching the contentious issue of social bias with nuance and a broad range of exhaustive research, behavioural scientist, activist and writer, Agarwal demonstrates how unconscious prejudice is still immensely prevalent in contemporary society. Cogently argued and intensely persuasive, Sway is an enlightening account of how entrenched sets of stereotypes have become. ” —Waterstones
“A nuanced, truly eye-opening investigation into the enduring prevalence of unconscious prejudice in contemporary society.” —Waterstones