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The Power of Human: How Our Shared Humanity Can Help Us Create a Better World, by Adam Waytz

Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Dec 27, 2019

This book was featured on the Greater Good Magazine (Berkley) "Our Favorite Books of 2019":

Is dehumanization on the rise? It may be, according to Adam Waytz, author of The Power of Human—with technology being a key cause. We spend so much time online avoiding direct human contact, writes Waytz, that we are losing our capacity to connect with others in meaningful ways—making us lonelier, less empathic, and prone to bullying or being bullied.

The way our brains are wired means we are all capable of dehumanizing others—especially those who are not like us. Sadly, governments take advantage of that vulnerability, trying to paint groups of people as less human than others for their own political gain.

But Waytz sees hope for overcoming our tendency to dehumanize if we understand what triggers it and work on seeing everyone as intrinsically worthy and capable of complex thought, rather than as caricatures. By focusing on our shared identities, practicing perspective taking, understanding power dynamics, and taking time to meet other people face-to-face rather than online alone, we can strengthen the neural networks that support humanization and nurture our relationships—individually and as a society.

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