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Civil Society

Three people talking

Problem

People from different social groups tend to fear and mistrust one another.

Solution

Teaming up as equals and collaborating towards a common goal reduces prejudice between people with different backgrounds.

Mixed-race women's volleyball team

Problem

People from different cultural groups often dislike and discriminate against one another.

Solution

When people from different social groups think of each other as belonging to one larger group, they like each other more.

Two people in suits riding up escalator

Problem

People sometimes lie to get ahead.

Solution

Adding moral quotes to e-mail signatures primes recipients to act more honestly.

Man laying on the ground in need of help

Problem

People often turn a blind eye to others in need. 

Solution

Reduce time pressure to get people to help. 

Eyes peering over a Harry Potter book

Problem

People develop prejudice at a young age.

Solution

Reading about fictional characters who show empathy for marginalized groups helps children become more empathetic in real life. 

Person's hand grabbing a cookie

Problem

People misbehave when no one is looking. 

Solution

People behave better when they feel they’re being watched. 

Immigrants protest and march

Problem

In the last four decades, the worldwide immigrant population has more than doubled. Many native-borns view their new neighbors as outsiders, and so do not help them, which can lead immigrants to feel “culturally homeless.”

Solution

Showing native-borns how they are similar to immigrants inspires the former to offer aid to the latter.

Cartoon of a racially diverse jury

Problem

Racial disparities in the justice system disproportionately affect Blacks.

Solution

Juries make better decisions when they’re racially diverse.

An organ donor

Problem

According to the American Transplant Foundation, 18 people die every day in the United States for want of an organ transplant, and some 122,344 people are waiting for a donated organ.

Solution

Changing U.S. policies so that people’s organs are automatically donated when they die—rather than requiring people to “opt in” to donating their organs while they are still alive—may lead to more organ donations and more lives saved...

Group of civil rights protestors

Problem

People who value equality fail to support civil rights. 

Solution

Making people aware that their values and behaviors do not align motivates them to change their ways...

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