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Phillip Atiba Solomon

Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Co-Founder and President, Center for Policing Equity
Chapter Member: New York City SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Phillip

Solomon's research focuses on the possibility that contextual explanations play an under-explored role in producing racial inequality. His research examines ways in which environmental factors can produce racially disparate outcomes. By translating this work into the field—particularly the contexts around policing—his research helps change the public narrative about what we call racism. 


In the News

Phillip Atiba Solomon quoted on police brutality by David A. Harris, "Race, Fear and Police: A Lesson From Pittsburgh" Crime Report, January 27, 2020.
"How We Can Make Racism a Solvable Problem -- and Improve Policing," Phillip Atiba Solomon, TED Blog, April 2019.
Phillip Atiba Solomon's research on living while black moment discussed by Reis Thebault and Michael Brice-Saddler, "This City Wants to Make it Illegal to Call 911 on People of Color who are Just Living their Lives," The Washington Post, April 25, 2019.
Phillip Atiba Solomon's research on racist characterizations discussed by Brent Staples, "The Racist Trope That Won't Die," The New York Times, June 17, 2018.
"A Better Solution for Starbucks," Phillip Atiba Solomon, New York Times,
Phillip Atiba Solomon quoted on racial disparities in school discipline by Evie Blad and Corey Mitchell, "Black Students Bear Uneven Brunt of Discipline, Data Show" Education Week, May 1, 2018.
Phillip Atiba Solomon quoted on public racial bias by Jamelle Bouie, Gene Demby, Aisha Harris, and Tressie McMillan Cottom, "Being Black in Public" Slate, April 19, 2018.
Phillip Atiba Solomon quoted on police bias and racial bias by Camila Domonoske, "Starbucks Closing 8,000 Stores for an Afternoon, for Racial-Bias Education" WUFT-FM, April 17, 2018.
"Listening to Broward County's Silenced Students," Phillip Atiba Solomon, Huffington Post, February 26, 2018.
"On Stop-and-Frisk, We Can't Celebrate Just Yet," Phillip Atiba Solomon, New York Times, January 7, 2018.
"What Doom Feels Like," Phillip Atiba Solomon, Huffington Post, August 17, 2017.
"Oversights of Justice," Phillip Atiba Solomon, Huffington Post, April 10, 2017.
"Baton Rouge Shooting," Phillip Atiba Solomon, Interview with Brian Williams, MSNBC, July 17, 2016.


"Seeing Black: Race, Crime, and Visual Processing" (with Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Valerie J. Purdie, and Paul G. Davies). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87, no. 6 (2004): 876-893.

Investigates the influence of stereotypic associations on visual processing in five studies. Suggests that some associations between social groups and concepts are bidirectional and operate as visual tuning devices—producing shifts in perception and attention of a sort likely to influence decision making and behavior.

"Protecting Whiteness: White Phenotypic Racial Stereotypically Reduces Police Use of Force" (with Kimberly Barsamian Kahn, J. Katherine Lee, and Diane Motamed). Social Psychology and Personality Science 7, no. 5 (2016): 403-411.

Examines intergroup bias via perceived suspect phenotypic racial stereotypicality (e.g. how strongly members possess physical features typical of their racial group) on severity of police use of force. Confirms that police used less force with highly stereotypical Whites, and this protective effect was stronger than the effect for non-Whites. Suggests that intragroup bias is a protective factor for Whites, but not for non-Whites, providing an additional route through which racial disparities in policing operate.

"The Space Between Us: Stereotype Threat and Distance in Interracial Contexts" (with Claude M. Steele and Paul G. Davies). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 1 (2008): 91-107.

Investigates the role that stereotype threat plays in producing racial distancing behavior in an anticipated conversation paradigm within four studies. Discusses results within a broader discourse of racial distancing and the possibility that certain identity threats may be as important as prejudice in determining the outcomes of interracial interactions.

"Justice from Within: The Relations Between a Procedurally Just Organizational Climate and Police Organizational Efficiency, Endorsement of Democratic Policing, and Officer Well-Being" (with Rick Trinkner and Tom R. Tyler). Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 22, no. 2 (2016): 158-172.

Examines the influence of a procedurally fair organizational climate on officer's organizational behavior, commitment to democratic policing, and well-being. Shows that when officers were in a procedurally fair department, they were more likely to trust and feel obligated to obey their supervisors, less likely to be psychologically and emotionally distressed, and less likely to be cynical and mistrustful about the world in general and the communities they police in particular. Supports the utility of infusing procedural justice into the internal working climate as a means to improve police officer job performance, their well-being, and their relationship with the communities they police.

"Not yet Human: Implicit Knowledge, Historical Dehumanization, and Contemporary Consequences" (with Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Melissa J. Williams, and Matthew Christian Jackson). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 2 (2008): 292-306.

Demonstrates that U.S. citizens implicitly associate Blacks and apes. Reveals how this association influences study participants' basic cognitive processes and significantly alters their judgments in criminal justice contexts. Argues that examining the subtle persistence of specific historical representations such as these may not only enhance contemporary research on dehumanization, stereotyping, and implicit processes but also highlight common forms of discrimination that previously have gone unrecognized.

"The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children" (with Matthew Christian Jackson, Brooke Allison Lewis Di Leone, Carmen Marie Culotta, and Natalie Ann DiTomasso). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106, no. 4 (2014): 526-545.

Examines whether Black boys are given the protections of childhood equally to their peers. Tests 3 hypotheses: (a) that Black boys are seen as less "childlike" than their White peers, (b) that the characteristics associated with childhood will be applied less when thinking specifically about Black boys relative to White boys, and (c) that these trends would be exacerbated in contexts where Black males are dehumanized by associating them (implicitly) with apes. Demonstrates that the Black/ape association predicted actual racial disparities in police violence toward children. Suggests that dehumanization is a uniquely dangerous intergroup attitude, that intergroup perception of children is underexplored, and that both topics should be research priorities.