We aim to promote tolerant and equal intergroup relations by developing practical knowledge and innovative tools from cutting-edge research in social psychology.
The center operates in the area that lies between academia and the field. It aims to bridge the gap between current research on the psychology of intergroup relations and civil society organizations, government agencies, and other programs that promote shared society in the fields of education, employment, leadership, the media, etc. Today, there is research-based knowledge, developed in Israel and abroad that enables the dismantling of psychological barriers and the advancement of perceptions, emotions, and behaviors that are more conducive to equal and respectful intergroup relations. To date, this knowledge has only been used by the field to a limited extent.
We believe that by addressing people’s actual psychological needs, the impact of the work done today can be dramatically increased.
Three basic assumptions guide us:
- Group identity and belonging are of immense importance to people’s welfare, and therefore effective social partnership will give respect to distinct identities.
- Respectful, tolerant, and equal relationships among groups are possible and necessary for a shared society.
- Any significant social change in this area must include psychological change, that is, a change in people's perceptions, attitudes, and feelings.
We believe that social psychologists and researchers have a professional obligation to make the existing scientific knowledge available to the field and, with the field, to develop practical and creative ways to apply it, enabling agents of social change to base their work on data and research-based tools.
In a polarized reality, with many conflicts and deep-rooted rifts, we believe that our mission is not only necessary, but also urgent: to reduce manifestations of hostility, violence, and racism; to empower the forces working to eradicate these phenomena; and to promote respect, tolerance and mutual responsibility, sensitivity to inequality, and support for narrowing social gaps. In this spirit and in partnership with social leaders, organizations, individuals and policy makers, the center will act creatively and consistently as an auxiliary force and a model of supportive and groundbreaking cooperation.