Welcome to the latest edition of my Podcast where I interview experts on a wide variety of topics across the spectrum of psychology, psychopathy, and fiction!
In this episode, I interview my friend and colleague, Dr. Anthony Greenwald about his book, co-authored with Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People. Dr. Greenwald is a social psychologist and professor at the University of Washington. His book explores hidden biases that we all carry from a lifetime of experiences with social groups – age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, or nationality.
Dr. Greenwald and I had an in-depth conversation about the often-surprising insights from his book about the ways in which even good people make implicit judgements and decisions about others based on race and ethnicity, and other socially prominent characteristics. One of the highlights of the interview for me was Dr. Greenwald explaining how stereotypes may have a positive role in helping us appreciated the unique individuality of others!
Dr. Greenwald also made some important comments about the bird’s-eye-view of psychology as a whole. He sees psychology as going through what Thomas Kuhn described in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) as a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift occurs when new theories and methods successfully explain phenomena that had previously been treated as anomalies under the established paradigm. As a result of the new understanding of anomalies scientists reinvent how they think about and do their work. Tony has coined the term “Implicit Revolution” to refer to the rapidly spreading adoption across psychological fields of theories and methods of a new set of related ideas. These acknowledge the importance of implicit, automatic mental processes that we are usually unaware of and over which we have little or no control. An exciting aspect of this paradigm shift for clinical and forensic psychologists like myself is that the Implicit Revolution methods (like Greenwald’s Implicit Association Test, IAT) is how the methods compare to traditional psychological tests, like the various incarnations of the MMPI or the even older Rorschach Inkblot Test. Although these new tests are not yet at the point that they can replace the older ones, methods like Greenwald’s IAT have the potential to be many times more reliable, less demanding of time and expertise, and more capable of being focused on a specific issue or question than the current staples of psychological assessment