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October 17, 2019 – Free Speech & Peace

George Mason University’s Well-Being Lab to Study Ways to Improve Discourse

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George Mason University’s Well-Being Lab to Study Ways to Improve Discourse

In today’s increasingly polarized society, how can we enhance civility while reducing animosity? George Mason University’s Well-Being Laboratory, led by Dr. Todd Kashdan, Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist at Mason’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, is uncovering the answers.

“We are investigating the value of ideological diversity in groups. We are examining the biases that prevent people from expressing or listening to ideas that run counter to prevailing views,” said Kashdan. “We are fine tuning strategies to become intellectually humble and sufficiently curious to consider ideas that emerge from members of other groups.”

With support from the Charles Koch Foundation, the Laboratory is engaging in research to find ways to improve open-minded discourse in a politically polarized world.

“Engaging each other’s differences with curiosity instead of fear is a powerful tool in bridging divides,” said Ryan Stowers, Executive Director of the Charles Koch Foundation. “George Mason University’s Well-Being Lab is leading scientific study in applying the tools of social psychology to discovering how we can live together better.”

Learn more about the Well-Being Laboratory here, and read more about the Foundation’s Courageous Collaborations initiative here.