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Little, Brown Spark

The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony

The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony

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A "fascinating" (Charles Duhigg) and "must-read" (Annie Duke) "page-turning package" (Publishers Weekly starred review) for understanding identity and showing how our groups have a powerful influence on our feelings, beliefs, and behavior--and 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 you belong to.

In The Power of Us, psychologists Dominic Packer and Jay Van Bavel integrate their own cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to explain how identity really works and how to harness its dynamic nature to:
  • Boost cooperation and productivity
  • Overcome bias
  • Escape from echo chambers
  • Break political gridlock
  • Foster dissent and mobilize for change
  • Lead effectively
  • Galvanize action to address persistent global problems

Along the way, they explore such seemingly unrelated phenomena as why a small town in Germany spent decades divided by shoes, why beliefs persist after they are disproven, how working together synchronizes our brains, what makes selfish people generous, why effective leaders say "we" a lot, and how playing soccer can reduce age-old conflicts.

Understanding how identity works allows people to take control, moving beyond wondering, "Who am I?" to answer instead, "Who do I want to be?" Packed with fascinating insights, vivid case studies, and a wealth of pioneering research, The Power of Us will change the way you understand yourself--and the people around you--forever.

Author: Dominic J. Packer, Jay J. Van Bavel
Publisher: Little, Brown Spark
Published: 09/07/2021
Pages: 320
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.18lbs
Size: 9.54h x 6.33w x 1.15d
ISBN: 9780316538411

About the Author

Jay Van Bavel is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University. From neurons to social networks, Jay's research investigates the psychology and neuroscience of implicit bias, group identity, team performance, decision-making, and public health. He lives in New York City with his family and pet hamster, Sunny, and once taught a class while trapped in an elevator with his kids.

Dominic Packer is a Professor of Psychology at Lehigh University. Dominic's research investigates how people's identities affect conformity and dissent, racism and ageism, solidarity, health, and leadership. He lives in eastern Pennsylvania with his family and dog, Biscuit.

Jay and Dominic received their PhDs from the University of Toronto, where they bonded in a shared sub-basement office. The Power of Us is their first book.
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