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Bridging research and practice to spark change

Stanford SPARQ is a behavioral science “do tank” at Stanford University. We build research-driven partnerships with industry leaders and changemakers to combat bias, reduce disparities, and drive culture change. We work in criminal justice, economic mobility, education, health, and media + tech.
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Racial Disparities in Escalation: Police Stops and School Discipline

New research from Stanford SPARQ and collaborators finds racial disparities in how police traffic stops and school discipline escalate. These findings show that timing matters in combating racial disparities in these two critical domains.

Using police body-worn camera footage, traffic stops of Black drivers beginning with a command from the officer (e.g., “turn off the car”), rather than a reason for the stop (e.g., “the registration is expired”), were more likely to lead to arrests. Listen to SPARQ Co-Director Jennifer Eberhardt and others talk with NPR about what inspired the research and why the findings matter.

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While student discipline rates fluctuate throughout the school year, they rise more dramatically for Black students than White students at important time points (e.g., before breaks). To highlight the changes in school discipline rates over time, listen to the data as a sonification–in audio form. “The dynamic nature of this is really hard to communicate with static graphs,” says SPARQ Co-Director Jennifer Eberhardt. “We converted our data into sound so that people could hear the discipline rate rising and falling.”


 

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