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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

247. A More Just Future, with Dr. Dolly Chugh

In today’s conversation, I am joined by Dr. Dolly Chugh. Dolly is a social psychologist and management professor at the New York University Stern School of Business where she teaches MBA courses in leadership and management. Dolly is well-known for her teaching and facilitation skills. She was one of six professors chosen from thousands at New York University to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2020 and one of five to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award in 2013. Dolly’s research focuses on “bounded ethicality,” which she describes as the “psychology of good people.” Her work has been published in leading psychology, economics, and management journals, and cited by many books and authors.

Prior to becoming an academic, Dolly worked at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Sibson and Company, Scholastic, and Time Inc. Dolly attended Cornell University where she majored in psychology and economics for her undergraduate degree and Harvard University for her MBA and Ph.D. As you will hear in the episode, this is a really personal one for me that hits home for a reason that I haven’t really talked about much on the show. Hopefully, it is well received and you understand why I brought it up today, and why I intend to talk about it more in the future.

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IN A RUSH?

HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:43] In today’s conversation, I am joined by Dr. Dolly Chug. Dolly is a social psychologist and management professor at the New York University Stern School of Business where she teaches MBA courses in leadership and management.  
  • [02:54] This is a really personal one for me that hits home for a reason that I haven’t really talked about much on the show. 
  • [04:35] Dolly shares about herself, her background, and her work. She is currently a professor. Her research focuses on the psychology of good people. 
  • [06:36] People didn’t understand how her double majors went together but they were both about human behavior.  
  • [09:19] She shares how her book, A More Just Future came about.
  • [12:20] After reading the Little House on the Prairie series with her children, on a family trip to visit the area she had many realizations about the history and time period. She pushed it aside at the time, but it kept coming up down the road. 
  • [13:45] She decided she wanted to better understand our relationship with our past as well as our emotional relationship with our country. She wanted to leverage what social psychologists and other social scientists know to offer us tools so we just don’t push them aside. 
  • [16:09] We see the past as farther away and blurrier than the future. 
  • [17:12] Understanding today requires me to understand yesterday.
  • [19:44] When we are in a hot emotional state we are more action-oriented. 
  • [21:40] Our minds unconsciously invest in the status quo even when it doesn’t benefit us. It protects the default. 
  • [23:08] On almost every meaningful outcome that you can think of there is a racial disparity in the United States. 
  • [24:22] Our brains will justify the systems around us. That is the system justification theory or what she calls the “Good Guys Win Mindset.” It leads us to accept things as they are.
  • [26:23] The cognitive task of accepting that two contradictory statements can both be true is incredibly important. 
  • [28:13] The paradox mindset is a really powerful tool that we can use when we are trying to understand all these contradictions in our past and present. 
  • [29:27] What is the one little thing you can do right now that might be the spark of something new and being able to make that change? 
  • [30:07] The book was a very deep personal journey for Melina. She shares more about her journey (and that of her family) being Alaska Native (Tlingit and Tsimshian). 
  • [32:19] The past isn’t that far away. 
  • [33:18] There are a lot of ways that the past spills into the present through our word, our beliefs, and our trauma. 
  • [35:52] Melina shares how important preserving her native culture is for her and what she is doing with her son to preserve their culture. 
  • [37:25] Dolly’s book has helped Melina to take steps forward in preserving the culture instead of letting it simmer in her own mind. 
  • [39:21] We all have some family history that we either cherish, don’t know, or are embarrassed by. Understanding how that lives in the present is very interesting and we absolutely bring that to work with us. 
  • [42:02] Check out Dolly’s newsletter, Dear Good People.  
  • [43:24] Melina’s closing thoughts

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