Rebecca Bigler, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
I once heard Dr. Bigler, who leads the Gender and Racial Attitudes Lab at my alma mater, at a training I attended as a Resident Assistant in the university dorms. I was blown away by her account of the numerous subtle forces shaping children’s perceptions of traits like intelligence, kindness, and leadership among different races and sexes and how easily these perceptions can be manipulated through simple changes. Her amazing “red shirt, blue shirt” experiments are especially worth attention.
Amy J.C. Cuddy, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
I saw Dr. Cuddy’s presentation at this weekend’s Law and Mind Sciences Conference, and I would love to learn more about the “ambivalent stereotypes” and “warmth and competence” dichotomy she described. And as a Texas-friendly girl at a competitive East Coast law school, I couldn’t agree more with the title of her recent Harvard Business Review article, “Just Because I’m Nice, Don’t Assume I’m Dumb.”
Terrie Moffitt, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University
Earlier this month, I was fascinated by an NPR story featuring recent findings that self-control in children is highly correlated with positive outcomes later in life. Dr. Moffitt headed the team of researchers who saw those results in a group of 1,000 people from New Zealand. As she told NPR, “Children who had the greatest self-control in primary school and preschool ages were most likely to have fewer health problems when they reached their 30s.” In addition, “Identical twins are not identical on self-control…. That tells us that it is something they have learned, not something they have inherited.” I think Dr. Moffitt’s research could have major implications for the law and think we should all think and talk about those further.