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The Science of Diversity

Mona Sue Weissmark

Publication Date - 14 May 2020

ISBN: 9780190686345

440 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Shedding light on why diversity programs fail, the book provides tools to understand how biases develop and influence our relationships and interactions with others.


The Science of Diversity uses a multidisciplinary approach to excavate the theories, principles, and paradigms that illuminate our understanding of the issues surrounding human diversity, social equality, and justice. The book brings these to the surface holistically, examining diversity at the individual, interpersonal, and international levels. Shedding light on why diversity programs fail, the book provides tools to understand how biases develop and influence our relationships and interactions with others.


  • Argues that diversity programs that try to get rid of biases are doomed to fail and that you cannot shame or blame people into getting rid of their biases
  • Places diversity in historical, global context and demonstrates that biases are hard-wired into our brains
  • Includes lecture slides for each chapter
  • Each chapter features key concepts and test questions and answers
  • Companion website with supplementary materials available at www.oup.com/us/scienceofdiversity

About the Author(s)

Mona Sue Weissmark is a clinical and social psychologist whose work on diversity and the psychological roots of injustice has received global recognition. She is the author of the books Doing Psychotherapy Effectively (University of Chicago Press), and Justice Matters: Legacies of the Holocaust & World War II (Oxford University Press). The founder and former director of the Program Initiative for Global Mental Health Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University and the founder and former director for The Center for Social Justice in Chicago, Dr. Weissmark is also part-time Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Currently, she teaches the course 'Psychology of Diversity' and conducts research on the science of diversity and justice at Harvard University.


"In this ambitious, potentially timely project, Weissmark embraces scientific theorizing and empirical evidence to examine diversity on personal, interpersonal, and national levels. She invites readers on a journey that begins with a historical overview of diversity, moves through child development and the cognitive processes of categorization and judgment making, turns to diversity in relationships and groups, and finally looks at social justice and ethnic conflicts." -- I. I. Katzarska-Miller, Transylvania University, CHOICE

Table of Contents

    Introduction What is the Value of Scientific Thinking in a Polarized Society?


    Chapter 1: What is diversity?
    Chapter 2: The Self
    Chapter 3: Categorizing
    Chapter 4: Judging
    Chapter 5: Diversity and Relationships
    Chapter 6: Diversity and Groups
    Chapter 7: Diversity and Social Justice
    Chapter 8: Diversity and Ethnic Conflicts
    Chapter 9: Diversity and Nations