Aug 18, 2022
Identity helps shape our perception and thinking about the world
around us. What is identity? How does it influence our perspective?
These are some of the questions we answer in this episode of the
Rational Reminder Podcast. In this episode, we talk with Jay Van
Bavel, an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the
University of New York, an affiliate at the Stern School of
Business in Management and Organizations, and Director of the
Social Identity and Morality Lab. He is also co-author of the
book The Power of Us, which provides readers
with cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to
explain how identity really works and how we can harness it for the
better. His research focuses on how group identities, moral values,
and political beliefs shape the mind, brain, and behaviour. He has
published over 100 academic publications on the topic and has won
various awards for his research achievements. In our conversation,
we unpack the complexity of identity and its influence on our
perspective and decision-making abilities. We cover aspects such as
the differences between self-identity and group identity, how to be
aware of your biases, the role that leaders play in influencing
identity, and how identity plays out in social relationships. We
also talk about how group identity interacts with democracy and the
role of social media in shaping our identity, as well as learn some
practical advice to help broaden your perspective.
Key Points From This Episode:
- We start the show by learning the basics of group identity.
- How group identity differs from self-identity.
- He explains how impactful group identity is to individual
- Whether there is good data on how many groups people typically
identify with. [0:06:08]
- How aware people are of the groups they identify with.
- Ways in which group identity affects decision-making.
- The effect group identity has on setting and achieving goals.
- General ways group identity affects social relationships.
- A deeper explanation about groups, memberships, and physical
- Differences between introverts and extroverts.
- How group identity affects our thinking and perspective.
- Associate Professor Van Bavel explains how to foster social
cohesion, using America as an example.
- Find out if people have a default identity that determines
their perspective. [0:28:41]
- What people can do to be aware of which identity is affecting
their thinking. [0:30:10]
- Find out if group identity affects how people learn new
- Whether people can change or broaden their identity to improve
- Practical advice to help broaden someone’s perspective.
- The challenges of changing your group identity entirely.
- Steps that one can take to view the world more objectively.
- A rundown of how leaders influence the thinking and
decision-making of individuals. [0:45:47]
- An outline of what qualities to look out for in groups.
- The influence of social media on which groups people identify
- We learn if following people on social media with opposing
views helps break down group barriers.
- An explanation of how group identities interact with democracy.
- The differences between current political divisions and past
political divisions. [1:03:59]
- How well studies on the topic can be replicated.
- We end the show by learning how Associate Professor Van Bavel
defines success. [1:09:18]