How To Be a Moral Rebel: Catherine Sanderson

Much of what we took for granted, including daily routines, have been upended during the coronavirus pandemic. At a time when many have new questions about our personal values, traditions and lifestyles, this could be a teachable moment.

Social media may have been helpful in convincing people about the need for social distancing, wearing masks and other recent changes. "It really did allow norms to be transmitted very very quickly," says our guest, Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson.

In this episode we also discuss Catherine's research into the psychology of inaction and the themes of her new book, "Why We Act. Turning Bystanders Into Moral Rebels." Why is bad behavior, from sexual harassment to political corruption frequently tolerated? Why do many of us fail to intervene when we're needed? 

"Moral rebels seem to be comfortable with standing up and calling out bad behavior, even if they're in a group setting in which other people are staying silent. And even when it may be terribly hard to do so for the rest of us," Catherine tells us.

Fix It recommendation: Richard is watching "Firing Line With Margaret Hoover" on PBS TV.


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