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The Unconscious and the Invisible

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Social psychologist Claude Steele describes his groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity. Then, geneticist Harmit Malik explains his work in paleovirology—the study of how viral infections from earlier stages of evolution, some from over millions of years ago, have impacted how humans react to similar viruses today. And Scott Belsky talks about turning great ideas into reality. Plus, we’ll examine the the art of choosing. 

Social psychologist Claude Steele describes his groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity.

How Stereotypes Affect Us

Acclaimed social psychologist Claude Steele describes studies that show that exposing subjects to stereotypes—reminding female math majors about to take a test that women are considered inferior to men at math—impairs their performance. In Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us he sheds new light on a number of American social phenomena, from the racial and gender gaps in standardized test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men.

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Geneticist Harmit Malik on Paleovirology

Geneticist Dr. Harmit Malik, Associate Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle, and Assistant Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, explains his work in paleovirology. He was awarded the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, which is given to immigrants age 38 or younger. He also won the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from President Obama.

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Making Ideas Happen

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration. Scott Belsky tells us how ideas for new businesses, solutions to the world's problems, and artistic breakthroughs are common, but great execution that turns ideas into reality is rare. In Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming Obstacles between Vision and Reality, he explains how to develop the capacity to make ideas happen.

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The Art of Choosing

Sheena Iyengar looks at how and why we make the choices we make. In The Art of Choosing she asks: Is the desire for choice innate or bound by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? She points out how that our decisions have far-reaching consequences.

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