Article | Harvard Business Review | July–August 2013

The Costs of Racial 'Color Blindness'

by Michael I. Norton and Evan P. Apfelbaum


The article looks at research on people's attitudes and behaviors with respect to noticing and referring to a person's race. It explains the 2013 study, in which participants played a "Guess Who?" style game of asking yes-or-no questions about a group of faces pictured, half white and half African-American. The authors suggest that people's discomfort and avoidance of referring to race imposes costs in terms of information gathering and effective workplace diversity programs.

Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Behavior; Race; Attitudes;


Norton, Michael I., and Evan P. Apfelbaum. "The Costs of Racial 'Color Blindness'." Harvard Business Review 91, nos. 7/8 (July–August 2013): 22.