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Wilful blindness : why we ignore the obvious / Margaret Heffernan.

By: Heffernan, Margaret, 1955-Publication details: United Kingdom Simon & Schuster Ltd 2019 Description: 435 pages ; 20 cmISBN: 9781471180804 (paperback)Subject(s): Avoidance (Psychology) | Selectivity (Psychology) | Denial (Psychology)DDC classification: 153.7 Online Resources: About the book

Fully revised and updated since its first publication in 2011 to encompass further appalling instances of Wilful Blindness: Grenfell Tower, Carillion, Harvey Weinstein, Windrush and many more.

In the 2006 case of the US Government vs Enron, the presiding judge instructed the jurors to take account of the concept of wilful blindness as they reached their verdict about whether the chief executives of the disgraced energy corporation were guilty. It was not enough for the defendants to say that they did not know what was going on; that they had not seen anything. If they failed to observe the corruption which was unfolding before their very eyes, not knowing was no defence. Why, after every major accident and blunder, do we look back and ask, how could we have been so blind? Why do some people see what others don't? And how can we change? Drawing on studies by psychologists and neuroscientists, and from interviews with business leaders, whistleblowers and white collar criminals, businesswoman Margaret Heffernan examines the phenomenon of wilfulblindness, exploring the reasons that individuals and groups are blind to impending personal tragedies, corporate collapses, engineering failures - even crimes against humanity.We turn a blind eye in order to feel safe, to avoid conflict, to reduce anxiety and to protect prestige. It makes us feel good at first, with consequences we dont see. But greater understanding leads to solutions, and Heffernan shows how, by challenging our biases, encouraging debate, discouraging conformity, and not backing away from difficult or complicated problems, we can be more mindful of what is going on around us and be proactive instead of reactive. In her latest book, Heffernan argues that the biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don't see - not because they're secret or invisible, but because we're willfully blind. She examines the phenomenon and traces its imprint in our private and working lives, and within governments and organizations, and asks: What makes us prefer ignorance? What are we so afraid of? Why do some people see more than others? And how can we change? Examining examples of willful blindness in the Catholic Church, the SEC, Nazi Germany, Bernard Madoff's investors, BP's safety record, the military in Afghanistan and the dog-eat-dog world of subprime mortgage lenders, the book demonstrates how failing to see - or admit to ourselves or our colleagues - the issues and problems in plain sight can ruin private lives and bring down corporations. The book explores how willful blindness develops and then goes on to outline some of the mechanisms, structures and strategies that institutions and individuals can use to combat it. In its wide use of psychological research and examples from history, the book has been compared to work by Malcolm Gladwell and Nicholas Taleb.

Item type Current library Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
14 day loan (Main) Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, Victorian Branch
Main Collection 153.7 HEF 2019 (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available L0008547
14 day loan (Main) Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, Victorian Branch
Main Collection 153.7 HEF 2019 (Browse shelf(Opens below)) 2 Available L0008725
Total holds: 0

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