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The Non-Bengali


Updated: Apr 14, 2021

Joyeeta Dey

'Stereotyping is easy, which is why it’s called a ‘mental shortcut’. One way we do it, almost without thinking, is by generalizing that everyone from a certain group (like girls or Malayalis or Muslims) has certain characteristics. We might do this because we feel a need to slot people we meet —or never will meet—into neat categories, so that we feel we understand them. Because really getting to know people can be so difficult, most of the time we are just mentally lazy. Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel winning psychologist, in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow describes the unrigorous, impressionistic part of our brain, ‘the secret author of many of the choices and judgments you (we) make’. He advises that, on important matters, we make a concerted effort to think slow. Here, that would mean not blindly trusting our ‘experience’ of certain groups, based on a lazy pattern recognition system, to make predictions about people.'

Download the monograph here: The Non-Bengali-PeaceWorks.pdf

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