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Brownbag: Dr. Fred Duong (University of Toronto)

Brownbag: Dr. Fred Duong (University of Toronto)

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On Monday, November 13, 2023, Dr. Fred Duong, postdoctoral fellow of Social and Personality Psychology at University of Toronto, presented his talk  “Cultivating prosociality: from understanding to application.” 

You can find more information about Dr. Duong's work here and his abstract below:

Cultivating prosociality: from understanding to application

My research program is centered on prosociality—the inclination toward thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that benefit others. This presentation will span two lines of my work: an investigation of the meaning and measurement of empathy, and the application of social psychology in enhancing social cohesion.

In my academic work, I investigate empathy. My collaborators find that empathy, though a singular term, encompasses a multitude of meanings and applications. I will outline our findings on how people's lay conceptions of empathy diverge, investigate underlying mechanisms, and highlight measurement challenges to the field.

Transitioning from theory to practice, I will present my contributions as a research fellow with More in Common, a nonpartisan research nonprofit in the U.S. I'll share insights from large-scale quantitative surveys, focus groups, and interventions. We use social psychology to understand and foster social cohesion and healthy civic dialogue.

Additionally, I offer advice and information for those who are interested in using their research skills in mission-oriented organizations.