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The Unbiased Self

The Psychology of Overcoming Cognitive Bias

by Erin Devers

The Unbiased Self
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: March 11, 2025
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0976
  • ISBN: 9781514009765

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A Christian Perspective on Overcoming Cognitive Bias

So much human behavior can be explained by two motives: we want to be right, and we want to feel good about ourselves. But the tension between these two motives makes us especially vulnerable to bias—and bias distorts our view of the world and of ourselves and can keep us from doing even what we know is right.

In The Unbiased Self, social psychologist Erin Devers lays out what psychology has discovered about bias and selfishness. To truly overcome cognitive bias, we need a vision of what an unbiased self could look like, stemming from a solid sense of identity—an identity available in Christian faith. Devers explains how a Christian concept of the self can provide the combination of humility with self-confidence that enables unbiased thinking. Using current research and illuminating stories, this book

  • describes how "fast" and "slow" thinking work together in everyday life;
  • diagnoses when we're most vulnerable to distorted thinking;
  • considers how regarding every person as a child of God counteracts implicit bias;
  • reveals psychological insights into spiritual formation; and
  • recommends practices for slowing our thinking to seek God's wisdom about our ourselves and others.

The social sciences offer rich resources for understanding how to reduce stereotyping and prejudice. By thoughtfully integrating them with biblical perspectives on human worth and sin, we gain hopeful, practical guidance on how to perceive the world more accurately and love others more generously.


Introduction: We Want to Be Right and We Want to Feel Good About Ourselves
1. The Origin of Bias
2. Who You Think You Are Creates Bias
3. What You Believe About Yourself Creates Bias
4. Less Biased Slow Thinking
5. Less Biased Fast Thinking
6. Reducing Bias in How You Love Your Neighbor
7. Reducing Bias in the Church
Conclusion: Self-Compassion


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Erin Devers (PhD, Indiana University) is professor of psychology at Indiana Wesleyan University. As a social psychologist and educator, she has focused on creative ways to nudge students, fellow educators, and parents toward good decision-making practices. Her work has been published in the Journal for Personality and Social Psychology, Christian Scholar’s Review, and the Journal for Psychology and Christianity, among others.