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Science in Society

Morality When the Mind is Unknowable

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By Rita A. McNamara

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Why College Campuses Need a “Pride and Prejudice” Approach to Inclusion

Image of mulitracial group of college students walking through a lush green college campus

It’s fall, and universities and colleges have opened their doors for a new academic year and application cycle, freshly determined to brand their institutions as welcoming and inclusive for all. However, recent incidents of racial profiling on campuses are threatening their messages of belonging and these incidents can have far-reaching impacts.

Could There be a Dark Side to a Growth Mindset?

Illustration of two black silhouetted faces looking at each other with the brain highlighted (left brain has a red X through it right brain has a green check mark)

I recently visited a local school in the Bristol area of the UK to talk about an upcoming wellbeing project. As I walked into the head teacher’s office I noticed a poster that detailed a strategy for increasing performance in young students. The centrepiece of that strategy was “Growth Mindset”. At first, I was delighted that brilliant work conducted by an academic in the US (Carol Dweck) had made it all the way across the pond and into this very applied setting. Then, I felt slightly worried.

Can You Really 'Fake it Until You Make it'?

Image of empowered woman with a cape and mask on looking off into the distance with her hands on her hips.

Confidence is one of the most highly valued traits in our society.

Unknown Unknowns: The Problem of Hypocognition

Image of blocks of ice resting on a calm beach as the sun sets

In 1806, entrepreneur Frederic Tudor sailed to the island of Martinique with a precious cargo. He had harvested ice from frozen Massachusetts rivers and expected to make a tidy profit selling it to tropical customers. There was only one problem: the islanders had never seen ice. They had never experienced a cold drink, never tasted a pint of ice cream. Refrigeration was not a celebrated innovation, but an unknown concept. In their eyes, there was no value in Tudor’s cargo. His sizable investment melted away unappreciated and unsold in the Caribbean heat.

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