Are you your own best expert? When it comes to your own personality, you should know, right? Maybe not. A study of mine that just came out in this month's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that there are plenty of areas of our personality that we don't know very well, and our friends do.
The U.S. media is in a frenzy over the election in Iran. I agree that the results were probably rigged, that it was not a fair election, and I, too, would have liked to see Ahmadinejad defeated. But what amazes me is how un-self-aware we Americans are in the face of a stolen election.
In a 5-4 ruling this week, the supreme court ruled that a judge should recuse himself if there is a risk of actual bias, even if the judge himself has searched his soul and concluded that he has no bias. I agree with the court that on issues like this, the judge should not be the judge of his own bias.
Prominent Republicans have been calling for senators to ask Sotomayor about how her ethnic identity influences her judgment during her upcoming confirmation hearings. Some have even gone as far as accusing her of racism. Others have argued that we don't ask straight white men how their identity biases their judgments, so it would be a double-standard to ask Sotomayor. But can Sotomayor, or anyone, tell us how her ethnic identity biases her judgment?
It's pretty uncontroversial to say that there are some things people are not very good at knowing about themselves. It's not easy to know how funny you are, or whether people find you charming. But surely there are some things you know beyond a doubt, like how happy you are or how you're feeling right now. Or do you?