Why Civic Health Project?
America's civic health is eroding
We live in a society in which civil discourse and political decision-making capacity are deteriorating quickly and uncomfortably. We experience this erosion in obvious ways through hyper-partisan politics, toxic media and social media, and even day-to-day interactions with colleagues, friends, and family.
Less obvious are the underlying social, psychological, and behavioral traits that give rise to our divisive, partisan, even tribalistic decisions and interactions.
As humans, we’re susceptible to thinking and behaving in ways that aren’t always healthy for ourselves, our families, our communities, or civic society as a whole.
We can be quick to judge, lacking in empathy and tolerance, incapable of discerning fact from fiction, or blinded by biases that impede rational decision-making.
Ironically, many of these traits emerged naturally - even helpfully - to support human evolution. We became tribal to achieve safety in numbers. We learned to make snap judgments as a matter of survival. Cognitive biases emerged from our efforts to make decisions more rapidly and efficiently.
Today, however, as we become more and more divided these evolutionary traits can wreak havoc, leaving visible scars across our modern civic landscape.
Getting a better handle on the root causes of these negative behaviors can help us build up our “immune systems” against them, through interventions that give rise to healthier interactions and decision outcomes.