Phillip Atiba Goff appointed the Carl I. Hovland Professor
Phillip Atiba Goff, the newly named Carl I. Hovland Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Psychology, studies the science of racial bias and discrimination through analysis of police behavior and other aspects of our criminal legal system. His appointment was effective January 1.
Goff is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is an expert in contemporary forms of racial bias and discrimination as well as the intersections of race and gender. Goff conducts work exploring the ways in which racial prejudice is not a necessary precondition for racial discrimination. Despite the normative view of racial discrimination — that it stems from prejudiced explicit or implicit attitudes — his research demonstrates that situational factors facilitate racially unequal outcomes.
He received his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University. He began his academic career at Pennsylvania State University before earning tenure at the University of California-Los Angeles. He was also the inaugural Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Early in his career, he became a national leader in the science of racial bias by pioneering scientific experiments that exposed how our minds learn to associate Blackness and crime implicitly — often with deadly consequences. In 2008, while at UCLA, he co-founded the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) where he currently serves as CEO. Through his work at CPE, he serves as the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded National Justice Database, where participating law enforcement agencies submit crime, psychological, and police behavioral data, allowing his team to diagnose concerns around equity in public safety practices.
He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including two American Psychological Association early career awards. He was also a panelist on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.