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02/15/2016

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Bryce

I mentioned this on Facebook, but I think the point is worth sharing more widely, because it seems pretty important to me. There's one other issue, which at least partially overlaps with the one you raise here Shelley. If someone else has approved a potential job candidate (e.g., by hiring them) this can boosts the signal on the judgment that they are worth hiring. This doesn't always happen, and there are plenty of cases where other factors mitigate the effect of authorization. But the flip-side seems more common and more likely. If someone has been repeatedly passed over, this tends to boost the signal on the judgment that there is good reason to pass them over. As a result, the factors that drive the "stale degree" judgment are then bolstered by the history of under-employment. This problem runs deep, as it probably seems to many people who rely on this assumption that it is an epistemically virtuous (or at least an epistemically innocent) practice, but it often relies on and frequently masks bias.

Shelley Tremain

Thanks so much for your insightful comment, Bryce. I think the comment underscores how such taken-for-granted (though, of course, unstated) practices really compound the disadvantages that (previously) subordinated members of the profession experience. This factor seems so recognizable, so obvious, to me that I cannot fathom why it has not been addressed (nor why it may never be).

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