Dr. Samuel Gaertner, Ph.D., University of Delaware, to speak on Prejudice Among the Well Intentioned.

Rider University will host the third annual Marvin W. Goldstein Lecture on Prejudice Reduction on Wednesday, October 28, at 7 p.m. in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater on its Lawrenceville campus. All are invited to this free event.

The Marvin W. Goldstein Endowed Lecture Series on Prejudice Reduction brings researchers and professors from the field of psychology to Rider each fall to discuss issues related to prejudice; cultural, racial and gender bias; and the divides created by these phenomena. The series honors the 38-year career of Marvin W. Goldstein, Ph.D., a member of the Rider University Department of Psychology and the co-director of The Julius and Dorothy Koppelman Holocaust and Genocide Resource Center at Rider.

This year’s lecture will feature Samuel Gaertner, Ph.D., a professor of Psychology at the University of Delaware, who will speak on Prejudice Among the Well Intentioned.

The Department of Psychology is proud to offer the Goldstein Lecture on Prejudice and Prejudice Reduction every fall,” said Dr. Anne Law, chair of the department. “This year’s lecture by Dr. Sam Gaertner will illustrate how our actions and beliefs are not always consistent. We will learn more about the processes that influence our thinking about others and our thinking about ourselves. I would encourage everyone to attend this important lecture.”

The Goldstein Lecture Series aims to kill prejudice at its root: in the minds of us all. Biases can arise in even the most ordinary settings, and Gaertner has researched people who often express their racial attitudes in subtle, indirect and ‘rationalizable’ ways that preclude them from recognizing their racial biases. He is attempting to learn if such subtle forms of racism can be eliminated by inducing an enhanced sense of partnership or common in-group identity.

Gaertner is interested in intergroup relations and, in particular, how prejudice, discrimination and intergroup relations can be reduced. He is the recipient of the 1986 and 1998 Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize (along with John Dovidio of the University of Connecticut) awarded by the Society of the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

In 2004, Gaertner was also awarded the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award, along with Dovidio, by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, presented annually for “outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action."

Law said that, in addition to the public lecture, her department has also planned a series of events that involve Psychology students.

“Our first-year majors will view the film Crash prior to the lecture, and in the week following, they will all participate in small group discussions that integrate the film and lecture,” Law explained. “The discussions will be moderated by faculty and student members of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.

“Through these activities we’d like to inspire our students to use their education to seek solutions to important social problems,” she continued. “We hope that they will come to see that research in psychology offers the promise of improved understanding of themselves and others, and that complex social issues can be understood rationally.”