#86: Tom Pettigrew on How Experience Shapes Belief
Cognitive Revolution | Tom is the progenitor of intergroup contact theory in social psychology. In this episode, we talk about where the ideas behind that theory came from.
This is Cognitive Revolution, my show about the personal side of the intellectual journey. Each week, I interview an eminent scientist, writer, or academic about the experiences that shaped their ideas. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts.
Tom Pettigrew is professor emeritus in the psychology department at UC Santa Cruz. He is best known as the main proponent of one of social psychology’s most prominent ideas: intergroup contact theory. In this episode, we talk about how Tom was expelled from Jr High school for standing up to a racist teacher, the formative experiences that sparked his insights into intergroup contact, the mentorship of Gordon Allport, his extended trip to apartheid South Africa, how Allport's four factors for positive intergroup contact really came from Tom himself, how Tom's thinking about intergroup contact has changed over the years, and the role of social psychological in large-scale political and societal change.
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