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University of Miami Law School

2019

Law and Race

Legal antidiscrimination theory

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Acting Differently: How Science On The Social Brain Can Inform Antidiscrimination Law, Susan D. Carle May 2019

Acting Differently: How Science On The Social Brain Can Inform Antidiscrimination Law, Susan D. Carle

University of Miami Law Review

Legal scholars are becoming increasingly interested in how the literature on implicit bias helps explain illegal discrimination. However, these scholars have not yet mined all of the insights that science on the social brain can offer antidiscrimination law. That science, which researchers refer to as social neuroscience, involves a broadly interdisciplinary approach anchored in experimental natural science methodologies. Social neuroscience shows that the brain tends to evaluate others by distinguishing between “us” versus “them” on the basis of often insignificant characteristics, such as how people dress, sing, joke, or otherwise behave. Subtle behavioral markers signal social identity and group membership ...