DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL IDENTITY
Deepening polarization among Democrats and Republicans in the United States represents a significant challenge to American political and social life. Left unaddressed, it will continue to weaken the United States domestically and around the world. Beyond Conflict is creating accurate, accessible, and actionable measurements and tools to reduce polarization.
Dehumanization – perceiving other people as less than human – has been associated with the darkest chapters in human history, from slavery and colonization to war and genocide. Beyond Conflict explores the psychological processes and brain mechanisms that underlie and shape the psychology of dehumanization, and we develop measures to detect, reduce, and prevent dehumanization.
Human beings are not born racist, instead, they learn to be racist. Studies have shown that race-based preferences emerge in children who are between three and five years old, yet little work has been undertaken in brain and behavioral science to investigate what influences the development of these preferences. The Preempting Racism project seeks to discover more about when and why young children acquire race-based preferences, and then pilot and test different approaches to prevent them from developing in the first place.
False perceptions of the racial wealth divide, particularly by those in positions of power and privilege, are a psychological barrier preventing solutions to wealth inequality. This project aims to measure and better understand these false perceptions, many of which we may not be aware of, and design specific interventions to correct them.
TRAUMA & VIOLENT CONFLICT
The Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology is a pilot educational and self-care tool written for forcibly displaced adults and those working with them. The Guide was created by a team of Syrian refugees and scientific partners to address the need for easily scalable, cost-effective, and culturally sensitive mental health interventions in humanitarian settings.