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Relationships

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.

couple holding hands

Problem

Negative emotions feed intolerance, which can harm relations between groups.

Solution

Taking a detached perspective dampens bad feelings and increases tolerance for the other side.

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.

Tip jar at a bar

Problem

Employees in the service industry often feel emotionally drained.

Solution

Emotional management techniques and diary-writing improve employee performance on the job and lead to better tips from customers.

Teacher sitting in front of classroom full of students

Problem

School suspensions set students up to enter the school-to-prison pipeline, leading to unemployment and incarceration later in life (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology).

Solution

Taking an empathetic, rather than punitive, approach to classroom discipline reduces suspensions and improves student-teacher relationships. 

Two friends

Problem

We are often uneasy around people of other races.

Solution

Befriending just one person of a different race lowers anxiety and prejudice and makes it easier to cross racial boundaries in the future... 

A couple holding hands in front of a sunset

Problem

People with low self-esteem feel less love from their partners and have more trouble in relationships.   

Solution

Teaching people with low self-esteem to interpret their partner’s compliments as deep and enduring, rather than as shallow and fleeting, helps them feel loved and act better in their relationships...

Letter that reads: "Dear john, It has been some time since you were here at the hospital, and we hope...

Problem

Suicide is a leading cause of death, and it is notoriously difficult to prevent.

Solution

Regularly receiving letters from a caring person helps people at risk for committing suicide feel connected and stay alive...

couple argues

Problem

People usually become less satisfied with their marriages over time. And the unhappier the marriage, the unhealthier the spouses.

Solution

When spouses imagine what a neutral third party would think during their fights, they protect their love and commitment...

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