Can You Unlearn History And Still Love Your Country? With Dolly Chugh

Learning ALL the parts of our country’s history can be very uncomfortable. Not just in the US, but around the world, there are usually very dark parts of our past that many of us would rather brush over because it doesn’t marry up with the sterilized version of what we were taught when we were younger.

While many of us are willing to take the next step, to unlearn our history and dismantle the unjust systems that our forebears built, few of us actually know how to go about it effectively. Our wonderful guest on this episode, Dolly Chugh admits to her own story of how she inadvertently taught her kids a polished version of history. And in her own personal reckoning around this experience, wrote the book that she found herself needing to read. And we are delighted to be talking with her about “A More Just Future: Psychological Tools for Reckoning with Our Past and Driving Social Change” because it is now a valuable tool for all of us.

We tend to blame the victims more when something happened in the past. ~ Dolly Chugh, Episode 325 Click To Tweet

Dolly Chugh is a Harvard educated, award-winning social psychologist at the NYU Stern School of Business, where she is an expert researcher in the psychology of good people. We’ve previously had Dolly on the show but we are thrilled to welcome her back to discuss her brand new book.


(2:07) How Little House On The Prairie led Dolly to write A More Just Future.

(9:24) Behavioral History – the new way of looking at the past?

(11:10) Why do we find it so difficult to talk about the dark parts of our history?

(14:08) How “dressing for the weather” can help us deal with our emotional responses.

(17:56) What other countries can teach the US about our response to history..

(19:37) How a Paradox Mindset can help us sit with uncomfortable truths.

(23:28) How does Dolly feel about America after writing the book?

(26:12) How do we move forward to a more just future?

(29:28) Unlearning our past is simple but not easy.

(31:49) Why is George Takei a gritty patriot?

(37:51) What is belief grief?

(39:42) How psychological distance creates a “long time ago illusion”.

(41:37) Using music to anchor us in time.

(44:52) What question Dolly would ask Max Bazerman?

(47:54) Grooving Session with Tim and Kurt discussing A More Just Future.

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Other Episodes You Will Enjoy

Episode 230, How Good People Fight Bias with Dolly Chugh

Episode 280, Do We Judge Others By The Way They Speak? | Katherine Kinzler PhD

Episode 321, Robert Livingston: How To Have A Conversation About Racism

Episode 232: Katy Milkman: How to Make Healthy Habits that Actually Last

AIRDATE: October 31, 2022 EPISODE 325

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Can You Unlearn History And Still Love Your Country? With Dolly Chugh