Professor Beattie appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire discussing the importance of the ‘inner game’ to tennis success during the first week of Wimbledon. He discussed the insights from Tim Gallwey’s classic book on this subject, focussing on the relationship between the conscious self and the more automatic self as being at the centre of so many problems in tennis performance. The conscious self can be a little too critical, it seems, and it’s important to silence this internal critic to get the best out of your game. He also discussed why players, particularly female players, grunt when they are playing hard.
Professor Geoff Beattie and PhD student Laura McGuire both presented papers at the 21st Annual Conference of the International Interdisciplinary Environmental Association held in San Juan, Puerto Rico in June. Professor Beattie’s paper with Dr Melissa Marselle and Dr Damien Litchfield focussed on cognitive biases in how we process climate change messages. Using eye tracking, it was found that optimists seem to focus longer (fixation duration) on ‘positive’ messages about climate changes (that is that the science isn’t necessarily that clear and the effects may not be that bad in the end) compared with those lower in dispositional optimism. Given that over the past few decades we have been training ‘positive thinking’ and optimism, we may, in effect, be contributing to our failure to get the harsh reality of climate change across to the general public. Laura’s paper centred on her new research exploring the relationship between implicit attitudes to carbon footprint and consumer choice under differing ‘shopping’ conditions where environmental information (organic/Eco/carbon footprint etc) has to compete with a range of other information including brand and value. The response to both papers from the international audience was excellent.
Professor Beattie’s book ‘Our Racist Heart? An Exploration of Unconscious Prejudice in Everyday Life‘ was reviewed by Lynne M. Jackson from the University of Western Ontario in the journal ‘Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy’ (volume 14, pages 434–436).
She wrote: ‘In this unique book, author Geoffrey Beattie juxtaposes stories of his youth in Northern Ireland, during which he experienced and observed prejudice on the basis of social class and religion, with descriptions of a sampling of theory and research relevant to implicit prejudice. In the author’s words, the book explores “what kinds of prejudices and biases might be operating in everyday life in contemporary British society, revolving around race and ethnicity, especially in the broad area of employment” (p. 1), though consistent with the subtitle of the book, the primary focus of the academic analysis is on implicit prejudice. Written in a manner suitable for a broad non-specialist audience, it appears to be directed, at least in part, toward those concerned with the lack of diversity in the university system in the United Kingdom in particular……..Beattie’s style of writing about prejudice is “populated” (Billing, 2011); he writes about real people in real situations in his personal reflections on prejudice. His story of the dynamics of the university boardroom is eloquently written and likely to resonate with readers who have sat in such rooms and experienced the chill in the air, and his accounts of class and religious conflict and violence in Northern Ireland powerfully illustrate the intersection between the personal and the political. He moves with ease between perspectives, personal and academic, psychodynamic and social-cognitive…….Our Racist Heart has one unique and valuable strength to recommend it: The author is a strong story-teller. Therefore, it can be enjoyed as an academic narrative, a description of a journey, taken by the author, exploring his own experiences of prejudice juxtaposed with reflections on a sampling of relevant academic work. In this respect, it offers some novel musings and poignant stories about problems of enduring importance.’