A landmark study by Yale University psychologists unraveled the subtleties of job discrimination that happens as a result of stereotyping. The study showed that even when we think we’re choosing a candidate for totally objective reasons like education or experience, a gut-level idea about who would traditionally fill a job often have actually influenced who we select. In the experiment, participants reviewed resumes that presented a male and female candidate for police chief. The resumes were actually identical with two alternating variables: whether the resume belonged to Michael or Michelle, and whether the candidate had more formal education or more experience. Michael’s ratings consistently came out on top. When his was the resume without college education but more experience participants said they picked him for “having more street smarts”; and they still picked Michael when Michelle had more experience and Michael had gone to college, saying that Michelle wasn’t a good candidate due to lack of education. The good news is that the study also showed how to mitigate our predisposition for prejudice. Asking reviewers to establish criteria importance beforehand eliminated this shifting merits effect. With Unitive, resume reviewers are asked to “pre-commit” to which qualities are most important for job performance, helping eliminate the possibility that you will be swayed by other content in a particular candidate's resume, such as their race, gender, or where they went to school.