William Cox

Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist; PI

william.cox@wisc.edu

Dr. Cox received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His contributions to basic and translational research on stereotyping and bias reduction were recently recognized by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at NIH in the form of a Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award. His work has been featured several times on NPR and WPR, and has appeared in the NYT, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN, Vanity Fair, and other major outlets.

Cox’s work has focused on uncovering cultural, social, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that perpetuate stereotypes and prejudice, and leverage basic science about those mechanisms to develop and refine interventions to reduce the expression of stereotyping and prejudice.

Over the past 12 years, Dr. Cox and his colleagues have developed and experimentally tested the bias habit-breaking intervention. This training 1) equips attendees with a deeper understanding of ways that race bias, gender bias, or other intergroup biases can seep into judgments and behavior unintentionally, and 2) empowers people to reduce the influence of those biases by teaching a set of concrete evidence-based strategies for reducing biases. The bias habit-breaking intervention was the first and remains the only intervention that has been shown experimentally to produce long-term changes in bias. In contrast to many diversity or bias trainings that are neither evidence-based nor empirically tested, the habit-breaking intervention has been rigorously assessed in dozens of randomized-controlled studies, and shows robust long-term effectiveness. A recent article in The Atlantic offers an excellent lay-terms summary of this evidence-based intervention work.