Ep 279: The United Airlines “Involuntary Deboarding” Incident: from Shock Value to Productive Discussion

MichaelSocial Psychology, Teaching ToolsLeave a Comment

Productive Discussion About United Airlines De-Boarding

The involuntary removal of a passenger on a United Airlines flight has justifiably garnered a lot of attention. And as teachers we certainly want to capture students’ attention. But how do we create a discussion among students that goes beyond the simple shock value of showing the video? In this episode I talk both about the connections to psychology and about a series of new books that describe ways – simple ways – that teachers can create powerful, critical thinking, discussions in their classrooms.

Resources for this Episode

    • What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain – a must read for any teacher.
    • Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning – highly recommended

5 Reasons Why More People Didn’t Help In This Situation

    • Diffusion of Responsibility: “Someone else will probably do something”
    • Ambiguity of the situation: “What exactly is going on anyway? I’ve never seen anything like this
    • Perceived Cost: “If I get involved I might be thrown off the plane too”
    • Similarity: He’s not one of my in-group
    • Presence of an Authority Figure: “This doesn’t seem right but….well, those are officers taking him away, so….”
    • Social Roles: “I don’t know – I’m just a passenger and I’m supposed to do what they tell me”
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