Finalist for The Next Big Idea Bookclub • Book of the Year Selection Behavioral Scientist and Greater Good Society
“This is perhaps the richest book on belonging you’ll ever read.… The inspiration one draws from every page of this book is an enhanced sense of what is possible. It revives the very thing we need most in these times: hope.” —Claude M. Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi
Discover the secret to flourishing in an age of division: belonging. In a world filled with discord and loneliness, finding harmony and happiness can be difficult. But what if the key to unlocking our potential lies in this deceptively simple concept? Belonging is the feeling of being a part of a group that values, respects, and cares for us—a feeling that we can all cultivate in even the smallest corners of social life. In Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides, Stanford University professor Geoffrey L. Cohen draws on his own and others’ groundbreaking scientific research to offer simple, concrete solutions for fostering a sense of belonging. These solutions can generate surprisingly significant and long-lasting benefits.
Small but powerful actions can bolster belonging—actions such as encouraging people to reflect on their core values before they face a challenge or expressing belief in someone’s capacity to reach a higher standard. A wide range of innovative approaches have been found to boost achievement at work and at school, bridge political divides, reduce prejudice, and even contribute to overall health. Rigorously tested in diverse arenas—from classrooms to disadvantaged neighborhoods to iconic Silicon Valley companies—these methods offer a path forward in these demanding times. Belonging is a compelling read for all who yearn for a more connected world, whether you’re a manager or employee, an educator or student, a parent or caregiver, or simply someone seeking to make the most out of every moment you spend with others. Packed with actionable insights and specific strategies, this book offers hope and practical guidance, serving as both an inspiration and a roadmap to creating a world of inclusion, understanding, and empathy.
About the Author
Geoffrey L. Cohen is professor of psychology and the James G. March Professor of Organizational Studies in Education and Business at Stanford University. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
This book is a beacon of hope for our fractured times. A leading expert on belonging offers an engaging analysis of the science and practice of breaking down the barriers between people and building bridges to a more respectful world.
— Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again
Belonging is a masterpiece of social psychology—well-researched, highly engaging, and fundamentally useful to anyone who wants to bring out the best in themselves and in others, whether at school, at home, or in the workplace. At a time of so much social disruption and disconnection, Geoffrey L. Cohen has provided a very helpful and profoundly hopeful guide, rooted in well-tested psychological principles, that we urgently need. Everyone should read this book!
— Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race
No one before Geoffrey L. Cohen has pulled together all the research relevant to diversity and inclusion in a single volume, helping us to understand belonging through a social psychological lens. The book is masterful, showcasing highly effective interventions. An inspiration!
— Peter Salovey, president of Yale University
Belonging combines rich science, compelling stories, and beautiful prose to illuminate the social psychological principles behind the need to belong and how to foster belonging and connection in a fractured world. Reading this book will yield insights into your own motivation and behavior and will help you understand the source of many pressing problems of our time.
— Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness
This book shines piercing illumination on one of today’s most timely topics—the causes and consequences of belonging to modern social groups. Importantly, it maps scientifically grounded routes to minimizing the harmful consequences while optimizing the positive ones. The world needs this book.
— Robert B. Cialdini, PhD, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion
An exhilarating book, filled with actionable insights about making the world around you better.
— Dacher Keltner, author of The Power Paradox
A well-written treatise on being a better person.
Cohen alternates between telling the deep history of successful social psychological interventions and focusing on modern interventions that are being used to astounding effect...If we want more people to have the chance to maximize their abilities and their contributions to society, reading Belonging is the right place to start.
— Matthew Lieberman - Science Magazine