The Divided Self:
How a better understanding of the human mind could transform society.
We are faced with a number of global challenges that threaten our very existence: population growth and sustainability, climate change, racism. These challenges all require us to adapt and change our everyday behaviour. We have all heard the arguments, and most recognise the need for change. So why is there so little actual change? I will suggest in this talk that we may need to think differently about the way the human mind works if we are to understand why human behaviour is so destructive and maladaptive and if we are to promote genuine, adaptive, behaviour change. I will suggest that as a starting point, we must recognise that people don’t actually have a mind – they have two, and this may hold the key as to why people behave in the way that they do. Human beings have ‘a divided self’ and the way that the two separate systems interact may ultimately hold the key to our survival. There will be a particular focus on two areas – sustainability and racism, where I will explore how implicit and unconscious processes direct much of our everyday behaviour with significant implications for us all. These two areas are explored in two of my recent books Why Aren’t We Saving the Planet? A Psychologist’s Perspective and Our Racist Heart? An Exploration of Unconscious Prejudice in Everyday Life, both were published by Routledge.
Professor Geoff Beattie, Edge Hill University
4.00pm to 5.00pm in 01AC02