SOCIAL BELONGING and IDENTITY
What are the psychobiological and social effects of systemic exclusion and systemic belonging for individuals and communities? How do belonging, inclusion, and exclusion affect the development, escalation, and cessation of conflict and violence? How does group identity encourage conflict, or on the other hand, peace?
Dehumanization and Empathy
Why do our minds readily and deeply understand the minds and feelings of certain “others,” but not all “others”? What is the role of dehumanization in social conflict, and to what extent does empathy matter for conflict prevention and resolution? How do we drive empathy that leads to pro-social behavior, and how can we intervene to prevent dehumanization that spurs conflict?
Trauma and Collective Victimhood
The effects of trauma have a lifespan far beyond their starting point. How do individuals and communities overcome the effects of trauma in the body and in the mind? How do trauma and victimhood affect personal and collective identity, and what role does this play in the evolution and resolution of social conflict?
Rebuilding Social Trust
How do societies rebuild themselves following, war, mass violence, and division? How do we prevent the breakdown of trust in increasingly divided and pluralistic societies? What can brain science tell us about how social trust is formed and strengthened, but also how it erodes and breaks down?