Chapter One

What is bias and why does it matter?

If you’re a man, or you have men in your life, here’s some news you can use: grow a beard. Seriously. Men with beards are seen as more trustworthy. Two men advertising the same product, one with a beard and one without, make customers feel differently. The fact is, bearded salesmen sell more stuff.1 Most people would tell you beards on spokesmen don’t sway them, but they’d be wrong. Why? Because our brains have subtle preferences that we don’t even know about. Americans, it turns out, have a pro-beard bias.

As a cultural ally, someone who seeks to expand their understanding of others and use it for good, you probably have a sense of what bias is. Many people know it when they see it, but can’t ...

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