Outsmarting Implicit Bias

How well do we know our own minds?

Designed for individuals and teams, this Harvard Online course taught by preeminent Harvard Professor Mahzarin Banaji teaches the science of implicit bias and strategies to counter the impact of bias in the workplace.

Featuring faculty from:
September 2024
3 weeks
1–2 hours per week
Certificate Price
Program Dates
Applications Close
Course Calendar
Apply today for Outsmarting Implicit Bias!

What You'll Learn

Do we really understand what goes into our decision-making process at the office and at home?

The last fifty years of research in experimental psychology has shown that we may not understand our minds as well as we think we do; however, we can reveal a world of hidden thoughts when we observe our minds through the science of implicit bias.

Implicit bias refers to judgments made without conscious awareness about a person, based on group-level features such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, social status, sexuality, and more. Developed and taught by Harvard Professor Mahzarin Banaji, this course begins with the premise that implicit bias is a feature of all human minds. The first step to recognizing the impact of bias and making better decisions at work is a willingness to examine your own thoughts and behaviors with scientific curiosity. 

In this interactive course, you will experience the way your mind works, how it influences your decisions, and how you can outsmart it to overcome implicit bias.

With Professor Banaji as your guide, you will hear from industry leaders on how unintended bias seeps into the daily work of organizations and how they developed practices to detect and challenge this bias in the workplace. You will practice proven strategies to avoid common pitfalls and gain valuable resources that will help you outsmart implicit bias at work. Engaging exercises will often surprise you and reveal how your perception doesn’t align with objective reality. With reflective questions, you will begin to draw your own conclusions about the unintended impact of implicit bias and why it may impede your effectiveness as a member of your organization.

Because bias isn’t something that can be willed away, this course offers a blueprint to outsmart implicit bias. This is fundamental to achieving the promise of better decisions in the workplace and leading an examined life—where our actions are more consistent with our values.  

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • Achieve an understanding of implicit bias through scientific evidence in the fields of experimental psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics, and sociology.
  • Recognize the influence of implicit bias in the workplace.
  • Identify the situations in which bias arises in daily work-related processes of recruiting, selecting, hiring, promotion, managing teams, interacting with customers, clients, or the public.  
  • Grasp how implicit bias leads to inaccurate conclusions and decisions that are in opposition to your personal and professional goals.

Your Instructor

Mahzarin Banaji, PhD, is the Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. Professor Banaji is an experimental psychologist who co-developed the concept of “implicit bias” nearly 30 years ago and co-authored the New York Times best-selling book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. She is the recipient of seven honorary degrees, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Golden Goose Award from the United States Congress, the Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice, and the Atkinson Prize from the National Academy of Sciences. Her lifetime contributions have been recognized by APA’s Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution, and APS’s William James Fellow Award for “a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology”, the Cattell Fellow Award for “a lifetime of applied psychological research” and the Mentor Award.  She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. 

Available Discounts and Benefits for Groups and Individuals

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Experience Harvard Online by utilizing our wide variety of discount programs for individuals and groups. 


Gather your team to experience Outsmarting Implicit Bias and other Harvard Online courses to enjoy the benefits of learning together: 

  • Single invoicing for groups of 10 or more
  • Tiered discounts and pricing available with up to 50% off
  • Growth reports on your team's progress
  • Flexible course and partnership plans 

Learn more and enroll your team

For this course we offer a 30% discount for learners who work in the nonprofit, government, military, or education fields. 

Eligibility is determined by a prospective learner’s email address, ending in .org, .gov, .mil, or .edu. Interested learners can apply below for the discount and, if eligible, will receive a promo code to enter when completing payment information to enroll in a Harvard Online program. Click here to apply for these discounts.

Learners who have enrolled in at least one qualifying Harvard Online program hosted on the HBS Online platform are eligible to receive a 30% discount on this course, regardless of completion or certificate status in the first purchased program. Past Participant Discounts are automatically applied to the Program Fee upon time of payment.  Learn more here.

Learners who have earned a verified certificate for a HarvardX course hosted on the edX platform are eligible to receive a 30% discount on this course using a discount code. Discounts are not available after you've submitted payment, so if you think you are eligible for a discount on a registration, please check your email for a code or contact us.

Real World Case Studies

Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

Shelly McNamara Headshot

Shelly McNamara

Learn from Shelly's experience as Chief Equality and Inclusion Officer at Procter and Gamble and how she has improved business outcomes through addressing bias in the workplace.

Rob Lowe Headshot

Robert Lowe

Boston University Chief of Police Robert Lowe shares how awareness of implicit biases has changed his office's approach to their work.

Mike Fenton Headshot

Mike Fenlon

PwC's former Chief People Officer and Chief Future of Work Officer, shares how he worked with colleagues through his entire career to detect and outsmart blindspots in academia and in workplaces.

Syllabus and Upcoming Calendars

Designed for individuals and teams in any organization, this Harvard Online course, taught by preeminent Harvard Professor Mahzarin Banaji, explores the science underlying implicit bias to allow better decisions in life and at work.

Download Full Syllabus>>

Download September 2024 Calendar >>

  • Learn from Procter and Gamble Chief Equality and Inclusion Officer and Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Shelly McNamara
  • Learn how and why cognitive biases impact decisions
  • Experience the impact of cognitive biases using mind riddles
  • Hear from Robert Lowe, Boston University's Chief of Police
  • Explore how implicit bias can lead us to make incorrect first impressions about others
  • Identify the areas where implicit bias impacts our decisions in work and in life
  • Professionals at all career levels describe their experiences taking the Implicit Association Test (IAT)
  • Understand what the Implicit Association Test is and how it works
  • Recognize what data from the Implicit Association Test tells us about ourselves and our society
  • Explore how our eyes and ears can shape the decisions we make through reflections on scientific data and personal experiences
  • Identify areas in workplace processes where implicit bias may impact decisions
  • Understand what helping behavior is and how it is influenced by implicit bias
  • Hear from Procter and Gamble's Vice President of Human Resources and Global Business Services, Tamara Thomas
  • Understand the business case for the benefits of diversity
  • Apply general strategies to debias the workplace, with a focus on how to sort relevant data from the irrelevant
  • Choose actions you can take to outsmart your bias during meetings


  • Understand that implicit bias is not permanent and witness examples of how it  can change
  • Recognize how true change needs to happen at three levels: the individual, the institution, and society
  • Study how one company created and sustained lasting change surrounding implicit bias

Earn Your Certificate

Enroll today in Harvard Online's Outsmarting Implicit Bias course.

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