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Inequalities between socially marginalized and non-marginalized groups have led to poorer school and health outcomes for African Americans, Latino Americans, and other non-Asian ethnic minorities. In this university podcast, Stanford assistant professor Greg Walton examines one psychological factor contributing to these inequalities: concern about social belonging — a sense of having positive relationships with others. He reports the significant academic and health-related consequences of a brief intervention aimed at buttressing college freshmen’s sense of social belonging in school. Walton spoke at The Science of Getting People to Do Good briefing held at Stanford.
As a social psychologist in the tradition of Kurt Lewin, Greg Walton is committed to identifying psychological processes that contribute to social problems and to developing theory-based interventions to affect these processes. His research examines diverse contexts, including education, health, intergroup relations, politics, and the environment using both laboratory and field-experimentation. This research simultaneously advances psychological theory, demonstrates the importance of psychological processes in major social problems, and suggests novel remedies to these problems.