Press Releases

Let’s talk: The art of understanding and repairing our differences

Posted on Jan 19, 2017

BY ROBIN STERN AND DIANA DIVECHA In the wake of the presidential election, feelings are running high in America, with half of the electorate rejoicing and the other half panicking. The divide we felt in the nation in the run-up to the election now seems more intense than ever. How can we understand our differences? How can we begin to repair them? In the world of emotional intelligence, we close the gaps in our understanding of people “on the other side” by first being aware of our own feelings and stories, and then getting curious about the feelings and stories on the other side of the conversation. This is not easy. A conversation that includes opposing viewpoints can feel like looking at the classic vase-or-face picture. We alternate between seeing one or the other. But to see the entire picture — or hold an integrated conversation — requires that all parts be viewed simultaneously. This can be hard. When we teach emotional intelligence, we first teach people how to recognize and regulate their own feelings. Sometimes that involves taking a pause between feeling triggered and responding. In the book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschild describes how she “turned off her own alarm system” in order to listen for a deep understanding of what her subjects — Tea Party members in the deep South “on the other side of the empathy wall” — were telling her. If we don’t temporarily check our feelings, they leak out and color our ability to see the other person’s picture. And since feelings travel faster in the brain than thoughts, taking that “meta-moment” allows the thinking and reasoning part of our brain, the frontal cortex, to weigh in. When we are unable to step into another’s frame and instead shelter among like-minded company, our views become more polarized and it becomes easy to … read more

Blumenthal, Murphy, Esty Announce Bill in Honor of Sandy Hook’s Jesse Lewis to Provide Social and Emotional Learning Skills to Teachers

Posted on Apr 13, 2015

(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today introduced the Jesse Lewis Empowering Educators Act to provide teachers powerful tools and training to support students’ social and emotional learning. The bill is named in honor of Jesse Lewis, who at six years old was tragically killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is a co-sponsor. Specifically, the bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so that existing professional development funding could be used to train teachers in concepts related to social and emotional learning. “My personal commitment to this vital initiative grew from the horrific, painful days after Sandy Hook, when I sat in Scarlett Lewis’ living room and heard and saw Jesse’s awe-inspiring courage and caring through his words and photos. Jesse had emotional intelligence way beyond his years– gifts of empathy, resilience, self-awareness, confidence and compassion, love and hope– which we can instill in students nationwide if teachers are given the right tools and training. Countless studies and common sense show that children who learn to manage their emotions, play and interact positively with their peers, and constructively resolve conflicts are less likely to resort to bullying, physical violence and self-destructive behavior, and also perform better academically. In honor of Jesse, and the 25 other beautiful children and talented educators lost at Sandy Hook, this bill provides teachers skills and support to help all students grow into strong and healthy members of society. Qualities of courage and resilience shown by Jesse and other Sandy Hook heroes will help inspire lesson plans for emotional intelligence and personal strength.” Blumenthal said. Social and emotional learning addresses how children learn to recognize and manage emotions, achieve positive goals, demonstrate caring and concern for others, maintain positive relationships, make responsible decisions and handle interpersonal situations effectively. This includes learning how to calm oneself when angry, make friends and resolve conflicts. Numerous studies and reports … read more

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence & Born This Way Foundation Launch Emotion Revolution Initiative & Survey

Posted on Apr 12, 2015

Unprecedented National Survey of High School Age Youth Will Gather Data on the Emotional Needs of Young People in School and in Their Communities The Research will be Presented at the Emotion Revolution Summit in October 2015 New Haven, CT – Today, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, in partnership with Born This Way Foundation, launched the Emotion Revolution initiative to build awareness of the critical role emotions play in young people’s learning, decision-making, and overall wellness. The initiative will begin with an unprecedented online survey of high-school age youth nation-wide, exploring how young people feel, how they want to feel, and how to bridge the gap between the two. This data will strengthen the scientific understanding of how to most effectively build positive school climates and empower young people with the emotional tools they need to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. The survey is available at EmotionRevolution.org beginning today, April 9, 2015. Results from the survey will be presented at the Emotion Revolution Summit in October. Hosted at Yale University, the Summit will feature youth participants from around the country as well as special guests, including Yale President Peter Salovey, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Director Marc Brackett, and Born This Way Foundation Co-Founders Cynthia Germanotta and Lady Gaga. The summit will serve as a platform to unveil the findings of the study as well as offer youth the opportunity to share their ideas for creating improved learning environments with key educators, academics, and policy makers. A major goal of the summit is to create momentum around the national social and emotional learning (SEL) movement and to provide youth and educators with the resources they need to accelerate positive changes in their schools and communities. “Emotions drive learning, decision making, relationships, and health. Research has shown us repeatedly that the skills of emotional intelligence profoundly impact a person’s ability to thrive – academically, personally, and professionally,” said Marc Brackett, … read more

Cloud-Based System Helps Center for Emotional Intelligence

Posted on Jun 24, 2014

As the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence grows by leaps and bounds, keeping track of everyone involved is key. Now, after a cooperative effort with Yale ITS, the Center has a tailor-made customer relationship management system (CRM) up and running. And not a moment too soon: the Center is generating buzz as director Marc Brackett gives over 100 talks a year. “The CRM is changing how we do business,” says Miriam Schroers, the Center’s director of communications. “It’s eliminating siloed tracking systems and bringing our organization together.” A cloud-based system on the Salesforce.com platform, the CRM does a little of everything. It allows people interested in the Center to enter their own contact information via its WordPress site. The CRM captures training applicants applying through Qualtrics, and people emailing the Center are routed in as well. On the Center side, staff can now track contacts’ complex affiliations with multiple organizations—say, a school principal attending a summer institute on a third-party grant. The CRM can also generate reports, contracts, and invoices, and it can help the Center keep in touch with staff members in the field. “This process will replace multiple manual processes within the Center and allow for a complete view of the districts, schools, organizations and related people they interact with on a daily basis,” says Dave DeMichele, application architect with the Campus Community Technologies team. “I am truly proud of the work the combined teams accomplished to make this project a success.” Educators from all over the world make up the bulk of the Center’s customers and collaborators, so keeping track of them is central to its mission. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence conducts research and teaches people of all ages how to develop their emotional intelligence. The Center has developed a program, RULER, designed to teach the skills for recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions. RULER has helped more than 500 schools integrate emotional … read more

New Mood Meter Mobile App Teaches Emotional Intelligence

Posted on Jun 17, 2014

May 7, 2014 — (New York, NY) –Dr. Marc Brackett and Dr. Robin Stern of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence today announced the launch of the Mood Meter app for iOS available in the iTunes App Store. The app was developed in collaboration with HopeLab, with content based on research conducted through RULER and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This dynamic, intuitive, and visually appealing app unites leading edge technology with research conducted at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The app helps users of all ages build the skills of recognizing, labeling, and regulating emotions to live a healthier, more productive, and fulfilling life. The Mood Meter app, rooted in decades of research at Yale, is a dynamic tool designed to teach emotional intelligence, including the key skills of self-awareness and self-regulation. Says Dr. Brackett, “The Mood Meter App extends the reach of this evidence into a tool to support people at home, at work, and in other social situations in a user friendly, private way.   It actually helps users to build self-awareness and learn effective strategies to manage feelings providing opportunities to build the skills they need and then make more informed decisions and build stronger, more compassionate relationships. Says Dr. Stern, “The app is just a great tool for people of all ages and walks of life.  Families can especially benefit from the use of the app as it can help all members to more deeply understand themselves and each other — ultimately building better communication and compassion between them.” “We directly engaged users in the design process to create the Mood Meter app, listening to their feedback and iterating the app design to create a tool that’s appealing, easy-to-use and grounded in the great research-based work done by Marc, Robin and their team,” said Fred Dillon, Director of Product Development at HopeLab. “The app exemplifies the positive potential of technology to improve people’s … read more

Yale Announces Grant from Tauck Family Foundation

Posted on Dec 27, 2013

Funding Supports Collaboration between Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, and Bridgeport Public Schools to Implement RULER Program Supports Life Skills, Social and Emotional Learning, and School Climate Outcomes The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, in partnership with the Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, announced that it received a multi-year grant from the Tauck Family Foundation to partner with the Bridgeport Public School System in implementing RULER, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning. This new collaboration is designed to help Bridgeport, Connecticut schools integrate RULER and develop a sustainable framework for the evaluation and performance management of essential life skills, social and emotional learning, and school climate outcomes. Working with research faculty in the School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and with staff at a public elementary school serving students in grades K-8, in Bridgeport, the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence will implement RULER programming, which is based on the notion that when students can recognize, understand, and regulate their emotions effectively, they can persevere and succeed. The investment from the Tauck Family Foundation, which includes both multi-year general operating and capacity-building support, will also support the creation and implementation of a performance management tracking system that will allow teachers and administrators to collect and use data from students and teachers to evaluate the impacts of RULER as well as academic progress. The data collected from this model school will serve as the baseline measurement for future evaluation of student outcomes including life skills and social and emotional skills, as well as school climate outcomes. Supported by the leadership of the Bridgeport Public Schools, the Yale partnership will support a three-phase implementation plan for RULER, beginning with the first school adopting the approach and later serving as a model for the school district. The second phase will help a number of additional designated … read more

Yale Researchers Member of Scientific Team Collaborating with Facebook Engineers to Reduce Cyberbullying

Posted on Jan 10, 2013

NEW HAVEN (January 10, 2013) – Yale University announced today that Marc Brackett, Ph.D., Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Robin Stern, Ph.D., Psychotherapist and Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will participate in Facebook’s Compassion Research Day on January 23, 2013, at 12 p.m (EST). The livestream conference will take place at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. Brackett and Stern, researchers in emotional intelligence, are developers of RULER, an approach to teaching emotional intelligence skills. This is the third in a series of conferences at Facebook designed to develop a process to empower teens to confront incidents of cyberbullying through online reporting tools. The first Compassion Day took place in 2011 after Facebook engineers recognized the need to improve the design of its system for reporting untoward behavior such as bullying. Partnering with scientists from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and the Moral Emotions and Trust Lab of Claremont McKenna College, Facebook engineers are working hard to make online experience more supportive. Brackett and Stern will report on a large-scale study they have conducted with hundreds of thousands of teens. Beginning with interview data collected from students, parents, and educators, this unique team of engineers and scientists developed a new reporting system to help teens manage online bullying experiences and use more compassionate communication strategies. According to Dr. Brackett, “We wanted to empower teens to take positive and safe action by providing simple, effective guidance. Both our research on emotional intelligence and our work in schools using RULER point to the value of giving children practical strategies for managing bullying in their online social worlds.” Facebook was looking for improved ways to encourage teens to report online problems. According to Arturo Bejar, Director of Engineering, “We are excited to continue our partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Compassion Research Day represents a … read more

Yale Psychologist Joins Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Research Advisory Board

Posted on Dec 6, 2012

NEW HAVEN (December 6, 2012) – Dr. Marc Brackett, Research Scientist in Yale’s Department of Psychology and Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, has been appointed to the newly launched Research Advisory Board of the Born This Way Foundation, co-founded by pop megastar and activist Lady Gaga. Brackett is one of seven scholars named to the board, which is chaired by Dr. Susan M. Swearer of the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Members will meet quarterly to ensure that the Foundation’s youth empowerment, anti-bullying, and tolerance programs are guided and backed by rigorous theory and research. Born This Way Foundation Co-Founder and President Cynthia Germanotta calls the advisory board members “some of the brightest minds in education and adolescent research.” She believes their input will allow the Foundation to “reach even more youth and provide them with the tools necessary to be the brave person they were each born to be.” Brackett has gained recognition for his efforts to cultivate emotional intelligence and prevent bullying in schools through RULER, an approach to teaching emotional intelligence skills, which he co-created. Brackett’s research and intervention efforts over the last decade align with the mission of the Born This Way Foundation — to create “a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.” Of his recent appointment, Brackett said, “I’m delighted to work with the Born This Way Foundation on applying evidence-based best practices to prevent bullying and promote well being, kindness, and bravery in our nation and beyond. That Lady Gaga and her mother are bringing attention to this critical and noble effort is inspiring.” About The Born This Way Foundation The Born This Way Foundation was formed by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, in 2011 “to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated.” The Foundation is built on the … read more