The Standards We Choose: The Police Chief Study

Book-smart or street-smart? Education or experience? We like to think we use objective criteria to make decisions. But what happens when we choose the person first, then use the standard that supports our decision? How might the “pictures in our heads” drive the criteria we choose?


Norton, Sommers, & Brauner (2007). Bias in jury selection: Justifying prohibited peremptory challenges. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 20(5), 467-479.

Norton, Vandello, & Darley (2004). Casuistry and social category bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(6), 817-831.

Uhlmann & Cohen (2005). Constructed criteria: Redefining merit to justify discrimination. Psychological Science, 16(6), 474-480.


“The Standards We Choose” was created and developed by Mahzarin Banaji and Olivia Kang with funding from PwC and Harvard University.

Sound editing and mixing by Evan Younger

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

Artwork by Olivia Kang