The Person You Mean to Be Summary, Review PDF

You may have challenged your own views about prejudice and fair treatment at some point in your life. However, it’s possible that you’ve overlooked your unconscious biases. No one is completely free of prejudices inherited from their upbringing and life experiences, even the most tolerant and progressive people.

In this fascinating new book, Dolly Chugh uses insights from the latest scientific studies in psychology to paint a picture of the factors that shape our most basic impulses. These biases show, for example, that even the most anti-racist among us can have racist tendencies.

The good news is that we can begin to correct these biases and become more aware of what we pay attention to and what we neglect by expanding our knowledge of ourselves, others, and the mind.

You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book summary will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.

At the end of this book summary, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing

Without further ado, let’s get started. 

The Person You Mean to Be Summary

Lesson 1: Quantifying unconscious bias is now possible, but the results are often discouraging.

These days, the term “unconscious bias” is thrown around a lot. The term alludes to the possibility that some people hold discriminatory views about others without being aware of it. Now that scientists have found a way to quantify unconscious bias, however, there is hope that awareness will be raised.

Amazingly, studies have shown that the average human brain can process about 11 million data points in a single second. However, our brains can only process 40 bits at a time.

This means that we process 99.999 percent of what we take in unconsciously. This includes our implicit biases. These are hasty conclusions we draw from limited information and experience, such as the assumption that all black men carry guns.

But how can we quantify implicit biases? The Implicit Association Test (IAT), developed by psychologists at Harvard, is one way to gather this information.

To determine the extent to which your biases influence your decision-making, you are asked a series of questions designed to detect your hidden associations. Who comes to mind first, men or women, when you think of areas such as work, family life, and art? The test uses a timed decision task to assess your implicit biases by tapping into your subconscious.

The IAT’s results have shocked many people who consider themselves tolerant. Since it was made available online in 2011, many progressives and gender equality advocates have taken the test. Seventy-five percent of respondents are traditionalists who associate women primarily with caregiving and housework and men with professional and economic activities.

When asked to identify a black person with a gun, 85% of white Americans showed racial bias. People who thought they had no racial or gender bias were confronted with some harsh realities after taking the test. This shows how pervasive and damaging implicit bias can be.

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Lesson 2: People tend to take the benefits of things for granted unless they are constantly reminded why they are helpful.

Your reflections on the difficult times in your formative years. Remember that white Americans generally have a much higher standard of living, higher levels of education, and better access to health care compared to black Americans.

Perhaps more white Americans would agree that their upbringing was not so bad if they were reminded to look at things from a different perspective. In 2015, however, psychologists at Stanford asked that very question and found that the opposite is true. When white Americans were reminded of their privilege, they were more likely to focus on the difficulties they had to overcome as children.

It is possible, then, for individuals to perceive the difficulties of a group while failing to recognize their own advantages. The common belief is that everyone can and has overcome some type of adversity. The widespread belief that recognizing one’s own privilege makes one’s own successes seem undeserved contributes to this phenomenon.

Even in the corporate world, this trend can be observed. Another study found that employees are less likely to downplay the challenges and efforts of their jobs when reminded of their high salaries and benefits, such as good health care and legal counsel. People who are able to focus on the fact that they are doing well are less likely to deny their benefits.

Participants responded differently depending on whether they were asked to recall an outstanding past achievement or received positive feedback on a test they had taken before being reminded of their privilege, the 2015 Stanford study found. Those who had previously felt their worth was questioned were more open to thinking about their privileged upbringing after that hurdle was overcome.

If you feel the need to remind someone of their privilege, it is best to start with a compliment before confronting them. If they do not have access to resources that others lack, they are less likely to realize the benefits of their privilege.

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Lesson 3: It is difficult to recognize and overcome unconscious bias because it is very subtle and widespread.

Therefore, you may wonder what exactly unconscious bias means.

Let us take the example of Kimberly Davis, a close friend of the author and highly effective African-American leader. At a convention for women political leaders, Davis once encountered a large room full of white women engaged in a lively group discussion. Davis walked around the room, but she was met with silence. According to Davis, there was no overt hostility from any of the factions. She suspected that they did not recognize her as a colleague because a black businesswoman probably did not meet their standards.

This is just one example of how pervasive and unremarkable implicit bias can be.

Consider Joe Lentine, another resident of a Detroit suburb. Lentine spent his childhood in a typical white middle-class family. Although he lived in close proximity to the multicultural city of Detroit, he never spoke to anyone who was not of European descent.

Statistics show, however, that Lentine’s situation is no exception. Studies conducted in the Detroit metropolitan area in the 1980s and 1990s found that even in majority black neighborhoods, white families rarely interacted with their black neighbors.

Lentine came into contact with this form of racism through his friendship with a black fraternity brother. Unconscious prejudice is difficult to overcome and requires effort and initiative.

When Lentine began working at General Motors after college, he became increasingly aware of the racism he had exhibited throughout his life. To combat this, he immersed himself in the cultures of countries like India, Japan and South Korea.

After taking over Dental Plans Company in 2009, Lentine took a more proactive approach to combating his own prejudices by partnering with an organization that helped transgender youth find jobs. He reached out to the local Arab Chamber of Commerce to ensure his business was inclusive of the many cultures that make up the neighborhood.

Our unconscious biases do not force us to be accepting in any way. We can deal with them and adjust our approach to life if we try.

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Lesson 4: Those who are already privileged are in the best position to fight prejudice and help those who are on the margins.

If you have heard a racist remark but believe it is not your place to intervene, you should reconsider your position.

Christopher Owens, an African American poet, was annoyed by the many Facebook messages asking him to comment on racist remarks made by others. This shows that people of color generally accept the idea that they must speak out against racists. Unfortunately, research has shown that this is not the best course of action.

According to studies by Alexander Czopp and Margo Monteith in 2003, whites are more likely to take other whites’ concerns about racist comments seriously than people of other races.

That a privileged person’s rebuttal of racist comments or actions carries more weight is explained by the fact that people have a general unconscious bias that associates privilege with authority.

This is especially true in the workplace. In 2016, 350 North American executives were surveyed by psychologists and management researchers to assess their efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace.

The researchers surveyed managers’ supervisors to get their opinions on whether or not their efforts to diversify the workplace were having an impact.

The results showed that white, male managers are almost always rated positively, regardless of how well they manage to build a diverse team. Female or minority leaders, on the other hand, are more likely to be attacked.

Moreover, white men can hire whomever they want, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, and without fear of reprisal from their superiors.

People of color and women are often targeted for hiring within their own communities. As a result, women and minorities in leadership positions who advocate for diversity in the workplace will face opposition.

White men, because of their privileged position, have a special responsibility to combat racism and promote gender equality in the workplace.

The Person You Mean to Be Book Review

The Person You Mean to Be is a great book I’d like to recommend to anyone who is interested in personal development. If you spend some time digesting the ideas, it might make a positive impact on your life.

Even though the vast majority of people believe they have no prejudices, everyone has unconscious biases. According to studies, many of us harbor implicit prejudices against people of color. We are also less likely to accept suggestions from someone who is not white and male.

However, it is possible for all of us to raise our awareness of issues of race. To do so, we must be open to the experiences of those who are different from us and persistently challenge our own preconceived notions and prejudices.

Learn to choose what media you allow in your life.

The media we consume is critical to our understanding of others, showing us perspectives and realities beyond our own. That’s why it’s helpful to watch shows like All in the Family, Black-ish, and Modern Family that feature a diverse cast.

For example, if we only watch shows where all the characters are white and straight, our ability to empathize with people who are different from us decreases. Choosing what you read or watch can help you overcome your biases.

How To Get Rich By Reading and Writing?

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