Strengthening Democracy Challenge
Emile Bruneau Postdoctoral Researcher; Director, Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab
I am the Emile Bruneau Postdoctoral Researcher and the director of the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. I received my Ph.D. and M.A. in Social Psychology at Temple University and my B.A. in Psychology and Sociology at Florida State University.
In my research program, my goal is to understand the drivers and consequences of intergroup conflict and to develop interventions that directly combat intergroup conflict and systemic inequality. I conduct this research across the globe by assessing and intervening on conflict rooted in political polarization (i.e., in the U.S. between Democrats and Republicans), religious differences (i.e., in Israel between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians; in Nigeria between Christians and Muslims; in the U.S. between Muslims and non-Muslims), racial discrimination (i.e., in South Africa between White, Coloured and Black Africans; in the U.S. between White and non-White Americans), and immigration status (i.e., in the U.S. between citizen and immigrant populations).
I take a multi-method approach to my research by integrating techniques from across the social sciences, including conducting laboratory and field experiments, implementing cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, and comparing data across cross-cultural contexts. With each of these approaches, I engage in open science practices by preregistering my studies and posting all study materials and data when ethical to Open Science Framework. I also adopt an interdisciplinary perspective in my research by combining divergent literatures from Social Psychology, Communication, and Political Science.
I often collaborate with experts in academia, practitioners from non-profit organizations, artists, and filmmakers in order to focus my research on the needs of communities that are most affected by intergroup conflict. Further, I take a policy-oriented approach to my research, and I often work with policymakers to incorporate my research into actionable policy outcomes.