psychology | August 31, 2021

Jay Van Bavel Offers a Revolutionary Understanding of Identity in The Power of Us

In his new book The Power of Us, Jay Van Bavel explores the dynamics of our social identities: What causes people to develop social identities? What happens when they define themselves by the groups they belong to? And under what conditions does the human tendency to divide the world into “us” versus “them” become toxic and devastating? These questions and more are answered in The Power of Us, which offers a page-turning exploration of how we can use our shared identities to increase collaboration, performance, and social harmony. 

In this provocative and well-researched book, NYU professor Jay Van Bavel and his co-author Dominic J. Packer, use a combination of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience to explain how our identity is shaped by the people around us. Groups are central to how we define ourselves, says Van Bavel. And they can have profound effects on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This can be a positive and a negative: shared identities provide the foundation for a great deal of human coordination. Yet they can also make people overly loyal to their own groups, even going as far as to harm those who don’t belong.


The Power of Us explains how identity really works, and how we can harness it for our benefit: helping us lead more effectively, boost collaboration and productivity, overcome bias, break political gridlock, foster (healthy) dissent, mobilize for change, and address persistent global problems. Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit, declares it “a practical, entertaining and, above all, vital guide to human behavior.”


The Power of Us is available everywhere you buy books September 7th.

To book speaker Jay Van Bavel for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today.

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economics | August 24, 2021