Tuesday’s Big Idea
Soul-Searching / Unconscious Bias
Soul-Searching, or the "penetrating examination of one's motives, convictions, and attitudes," is quite a grandiose term, and one that we intend to use with some degree of caution.
This term is not part of our normal lexicon at Big Think because it seems to be asking for too much all at once.
Examining one's own convictions is certainly virtuous, but psychology shows us how easy it is to trick ourselves into believing we've done the job and are deserving of a big pat on the back. It's not an easy task.
And so we will set out on a more humble-sounding road today, especially since we are examining the highly sensitive issue of race, and look at the ways we can "diminish the role of unconscious bias."
The key word here is diminish. While we cannot fully overcome bias, as Paul Bloom points out in today's lesson, the good news is that we are indeed smart enough to figure out ways to diminish certain unconscious beliefs once we are aware of them.