9781324006183 198


The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides

14 October 2022


Astonishing lessons of social psychology that can make the world a dramatically better place

Stanford University psychology professor Geoffrey L. Cohen has used science to show that when people don’t have a sense of belonging, negative consequences often follow: diminished performance at school and work, poorer health, increased levels of hostility and more divisive politics. This book offers concrete steps that we can all take to foster belonging.

Cohen is known for major studies revealing practical actions (“wise interventions”) that creatively reduce conflict in all areas of life. Something as simple as affirming your core values before a test can markedly increase your score. Helping others in even small matters can improve health and happiness. Signaling respect and common cause by making subtle adjustments in the language we use can improve politics and policing. Working for a shared goal can moderate the views of the most bitter enemies.

With Cohen’s insights, we can all learn “situation-crafting” to reverse the myriad ways in which people are excluded because of race, class, gender and other differences. This essential book empowers educators, parents, managers, administrators, caregivers and everyone who wants those around them to thrive.


"This book shines piercing illumination on one of today’s most timely topics—the causes and consequences of belonging to modern social groups. Importantly, it maps scientifically grounded routes to minimizing the harmful consequences while optimizing the positive ones. The world needs this book." — Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion

"This book is a beacon of hope for our fractured times. A leading expert on belonging offers an engaging analysis of the science and practice of breaking down the barriers between people and building bridges to a more respectful world." — Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again

"Belonging combines rich science, compelling stories, and beautiful prose to illuminate the social psychological principles behind the need to belong and how to foster belonging and connection in a fractured world. Reading this book will yield insights into your own motivation and behavior and will help you understand the source of many pressing problems of our time." — Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness

"No one before Geoffrey L. Cohen has pulled together all the research relevant to diversity and inclusion in a single volume, helping us to understand belonging through a social psychological lens. The book is masterful, showcasing highly effective interventions. An inspiration!" — Peter Salovey, president of Yale University



160 x 239 mm • 448 pages


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