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The psychology behind ‘Us vs Them’ – BrainCraft

How do we weigh our own best interests against the best interests of others? This question can be extended beyond ‘Me vs You’ and into the ‘Us and Them.’ How do I weigh my family’s self interests against the needs of a family I’ve never met? What about the citizens of my country vs the citizens of another?

From Braincraft‘s Vanessa Hill, this is Us vs Them: Immigration, Empathy and Psychology, an exploration into Social Identity Theory, “a theory that predicts certain intergroup behaviours on the basis of perceived group status differences, the perceived legitimacy and stability of those status differences, and the perceived ability to move from one group to another.”

Hill also reveals how empathy gaps between ‘in-groups’ and ‘out-groups’ can be reduced: Simply doing nice things for those who are not in the same group can help build strong positive connections, as proven by science.

Related reading: The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss.

Next: JR’s A Walker in New York City, an installation time lapse, School of Life’s The Uses of Envy, and TED Ed’s Why are we so attached to our things?

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