Jennifer Eberhardt is a social psychologist, born
in 1965 in the United States.
Eberhardt explores the mechanisms and effects of racial prejudice in criminal justice, that is, the different ways in which people judge and see others on the basis of race and difference, focusing her research primarily within the context of crime.
Some of her findings have proved to be particularly disturbing. According to Eberhardt, stereotypical association between race and crime directly impact how individuals behave and make decisions. These associations also influence the extent to which people are capable of perceiving important visual details in images related to a crime, as well as their capacity to distinguish features in African-American faces.
Using statistical analysis to examine how the skin colour and hair texture of the accused relate to the judgements that the members of a jury issue to the accused. Her science has proven that accused black people are more likely to receive a death sentence if their facial features are stereotypically black and their victims are white.
With her work Jennifer tries to improve relations between the police and the communities that they serve, by increasing their mutual trust.
Jennifer received the MacArthur Award in 2014 for her work on how a group's stereotypes affect the type of penalty imposed for an offence.
She currently works as a professor at the University of Stanford.