65 minutes | Jun 20, 2021

How Good People Fight Bias | Dolly Chugh

Dolly Chugh is an award-winning associate professor and social psychologist at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Her research focuses on the “psychology of good people”. How and why most of us, however well-intended, are still prone to race and gender bias, as well as what she calls “bounded ethicality.”  

Dolly sits down with Kurt and Tim on this episode, to talk about the concept of “good-ish” which is a central theme to her book The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias https://amzn.to/35tGwMe. Psychology and neuroscience have proven that our minds do things on autopilot. These shortcuts (or heuristics) are laden with unconscious biases, which are juxtaposed to our self identity as a “good” person; one that isn’t racist, sexist or homophobic. Dolly believes we should set a higher standard for ourselves by being good-ish people. By implementing a Growth Mindset, a concept pioneered by Carol Dweck, we don’t hang on too tightly to our identity. We learn to change, and to be taught and to grow.

In our conversation with Dolly we learn about her beautiful analogy of headwinds and tailwinds that describe the invisible biases and systemic issues that many people in our world face. She explains the “Hmmm Framework” that she came up with after the January 6th Attack on the Capitol. And, of course, we discuss music and how Dolly incorporates it into her teaching and her writing.

In our focused Grooving Session, Tim and Kurt extract the meaningful ways that we can apply Dolly’s work into our everyday lives. We summarize the key parts of our interview with her and how we can each challenge ourselves to find our good-ish groove!

What You Will Learn from Dolly Chugh 

(2:41) Speed round questions

(4:12) What is the difference between good and good-ish? 

(9:09) Why is a growth mindset so difficult?

(12:28) Why we should integrate psychology more into our educational and political systems

(15:48) How systemic racism and unconscious bias are related

(29:12) Hmmm Framework and thought experiments

(34:04) How do we discover our own blind spots?

(38:58) How Dolly incorporates music into her teaching and writing

(43:21) Applications from our interview with Dolly in our Grooving Session:

  1. Step back and be intentional, use “when...then…” statements.
  2. Don’t hold on so tightly to our identity and the status quo.
  3. Thought experiments to unveil our own ignorance. 
  4. The Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT).
  5. Self audit - look at our library, our magazines, our TV shows, what we talk about with friends. How are we showing up in the world? Are we being intentional with where we put our effort?

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Dolly Chugh: http://www.dollychugh.com/about-dolly 

Dolly Chugh, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias https://amzn.to/35tGwMe 

Carol Dweck, Mindset, The New Psychology of Success https://amzn.to/3wDv10I 

Episode 196: Living Happier By Making the World Better with Max Bazerman https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/living-happier-by-making-the-world-better-with-max-bazerman/

Mahzarin Banaji https://psychology.fas.harvard.edu/people/mahzarin-r-banaji 

Molly Kern https://www.molly-kern.com/ 

Happy Days https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee0gziqT2Yk&ab_channel=ChiefScheiderChiefScheider 

Grey’s Anatomy https://youtu.be/dSGLObjyFvA 

Steve Martin and Nuala Walsh, Episode 209: GAABS and Improving the Future for Every Applied Behavioral Scientist https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/improving-the-future-for-every-applied-behavioral-scientist/

Katy Milkman, How to Change https://amzn.to/3wDZHzc 

Confronting the legacy of housing discrimination https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/vLnaRgBIed_ph_NxZa2ZaivfdC_FeD1f/white-americans-confront-legacy-of-housing-discrimination/ 

Harvard Implicit Association Test https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ 

Alec Lacamoire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Lacamoire 

Lake Wobegon Effect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wobegon 

Episode 214: Observing the Non-Obvious: How to Spot Trends Around You with Rohit Bhargava https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/the-non-obvious-rohit-bhargava/

Musical Links

Hamilton “Alexander Hamilton” https://youtu.be/VhinPd5RRJw 

In the Heights “Blackout” https://youtu.be/T0V2cCjf1Tk 

Something Rotten! “A Musical” https://youtu.be/1KFNcy9VjQI 

Bruno Mars “The Lazy Song” https://youtu.be/fLexgOxsZu0 

38 Special “Hold On Loosely” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJtf7R_oVaw 

Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth” https://youtu.be/80_39eAx3z8 

Play Next