Ep 74: Good People, Hidden Biases, and Navigating Your Blind Spots (with Anthony Greenwald)

nonprofits are messyYou are a good person and you do important work.

But guess what? You still have all sorts of hidden blind spots and biases. Sometimes you’re “judgy”. It affects how you interact in this world, and how the world interacts with you.

You’re a nonprofit person, so you probably want to change hearts and minds. Whether you realize it or not, your blind spots are likely getting in the way. What can you do about it?

Anthony Greenwald is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington, with a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a PhD from Harvard. He’s been studying how minds operate in social contexts. In the book he co-authored, Blindspot – Hidden Biases of Good People, he uses the term blindspot to discuss the extent to which social groups – without awareness or conscious control – shape our likes and dislikes, our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.

Learn how unconscious, automatic, less reflective aspects of the mind affect the decisions we make about ourselves and others in society on social categories of gender, race, age, class, sexuality, disability, religion, politics, nationality and more.

More importantly, are we stuck with these biases? Once they go from hidden to visible, is there hope?

About Anthony

Anthony G. Greenwald is Professor of Psychology at University of Washington (1986-present) and was previously at Ohio State University (1965-86). He received his BA from Yale (1959) and MA (1961) and PhD (1961) from Harvard. Published over 180 scholarly articles and has served on editorial boards of 13 psychological journals. His research career awards include the Donald T. Campbell. Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (1995), the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (2006), the William James Fellow Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science (2013), the Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues (2016), and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the American Psychological Association (jointly with Mahzarin Banaji, 2017). He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007 and the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2015. He is a co-founder (2005) and President of the non-profit organization, Project Implicit.

Greenwald provoked modern attention to the psychological self with his 1980 article, “The Totalitarian Ego”. His 1990s methods made unconscious cognition and subliminal perception orderly research topics. In 1994 Greenwald invented the Implicit Association Test (IAT; published in 1998). The IAT rapidly became a standard for assessing individual differences in implicit social cognition. Its method has provided the basis for three patent applications and numerous applications in clinical psychology, education, marketing, and diversity management, and has been used for data collection in 2,000+ peer-reviewed articles. The story of the IAT’s development and significance appears in Blindspot: Hidden biases of good people (Delacorte Press, 2013, co-authored with Mahzarin Banaji).

In this episode

  • The emotions of blind spots
  • Mindbugs – what they are and why they matter
  • How the “Implicit Association Test” works and why Malcolm Gladwell shared his results on Oprah
  • How stereotypes play into our reactions
  • Are we stuck with our biases? Can we overcome them?
  • Has there been a shift in societal biases over time?
  • How might a nonprofit leader use these teachings inside his/her organization?Continue Reading

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