234. The Power of Us with Dominic Packer

In Jo Cox’s first speech in parliament, she made the bold, veracious statement, “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us”. This compassionate perspective, points to the importance of belonging and the tragedies of division. Dominic Packer, author of The Power of Us, is a social psychologist who has dedicated his career to researching how the groups we belong to shape our identities, behaviors, and lives. On this episode of POTC, Dominic and Jill discuss how belonging (or not belonging) to certain groups impacts us as individuals. Together, they explore the pull of cults, the divisiveness of politics, and evidence-based strategies to promote social harmony. Grab a friend (or an enemy) and listen into this episode to learn more about your shared identities today!

Listen and Learn:
  • Jill and Debbie discuss the connections between their work with individuals and the groups to which they belong
  • Dominic’s expert explanation of groups in the context of social psychology
  • Minimal group studies and what they tell us about self and identity
  • The difference between in-group love and out-group dislike
  • Practical examples of the independence paradox and optimal distinctiveness
  • Jill and Dominic discuss why cults and politics can be so divisive, isolating, and powerful
  • Dominic’s expert definitions of naive realism and cooperation
About Dominic Packer:

Dominic Packer, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at Lehigh University. He researches, teaches, and writes about how the groups we belong to shape our identities, our behaviors, and our lives. With his colleague Jay Van Bavel, Dominic is co-author of a new book: ‘The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony‘.

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Episode 234