A revolutionary new understanding of identity, showing how our group affiliations have a powerful influence on our feelings, beliefs, and behaviour, that can inspire both personal change and social movements.
If you're like most people, you probably believe that your identity is stable. But in fact, your identity is constantly changing - often outside your conscious awareness and sometimes even against your wishes - to reflect the interests of the groups of which you're a part. And that fluid identity has a powerful influence over your feelings, beliefs, and behaviours.
In THE POWER OF US, psychologists Packer and Van Bavel integrate their own cutting-edge research in psychology, neuroscience and economics to explain what identity really is and show how to harness its dynamic nature to:
Increase our productivity - Improve physical and psychological health - Overcome our individual prejudice - Unlock our altruism - Break the political gridlock - Galvanize others to solve controversial global problems
Along the way, they explain such seemingly unrelated phenomenon as why men cry at football games but not funerals, why the history of slavery in U.S. counties is one of the best predictors of current day racism, and why Canada keeps a national reserve of maple syrup. Packed with fascinating insights, vivid case studies, and pioneering research, THE POWER OF US will change the way you understand yourself - and those around you - forever.
Better than I have ever seen, The Power of Us assesses the influence of tribalism on our actions and specifies ways to turn the force from destructive to constructive. A truly important booK. - Robert Cialdini, author of INFLUENCE AND PRE-SUASION
As American politics shifts from fights over ideology and policies to conflict over basic identities, we increasingly need help from social psychologists to understand what is going on. The Power of Us is an excellent resource in filling this urgent need. - Francis Fukuyama, author of IDENTITY
The Power of Us is a fascinating journey into the science of identity. If you've ever struggled to understand why people join cults or mindlessly conform - or wondered how to build great teams and influence better choices - this is the book you need. It is a practical, entertaining and, above all, vital guide to human behaviour. - Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of THE POWER OF HABIT and SMARTER FASTER BETTER
Dominic Packer is a Professor of Psychology at Lehigh University, and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in Arts & Sciences. Much of his research investigates how and why people decide to dissent from their groups, as well as to cooperate with members of other groups. Dr. Packer's writing has appeared in Scientific American Mind, the Washington Post, and Harvard Business Review, and for a time he had a popular blog entitled "It's a Group Life" at Psychology Today. His research has been covered by international media outlets (including the New York Times, the Washington Post, BBC, Daily Telegraph and Psychology Today). He regularly teaches a range of courses, from some of the largest lecture courses at his university to intimate seminars on identity and social change.
Jay Van Bavel is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University and is affiliated with Management and Organizations in the STERN School of Business. His research draws on everything from neuroscience to social networks to examine how our group identities shape our perceptions and actions. Dr. Van Bavel's writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and the Washington Post. He has given a TEDx talk and appeared on Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, as well as Al Jazeera, CBC, Bloomberg News, and The Wall Street Journal.