Ervin Staub talk- The power of active bystanders: Genocide, reconciliation, police behavior, children and bullying, and Trumpworld

413 Tobin Hall

Ervin Staub taught at Harvard, and is Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the doctoral program in the Psychology of Peace and Violence at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is past President of the International Society for Political Psychology and of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence. His last two books are the award winning Overcoming Evil: Genocide, Violent Conflict and Terrorism, 2011 and The Roots of Goodness and Resistance to Evil: Inclusive Caring, Moral Courage, Altruism Born of Suffering, Active Bystandership and Heroism, 2015. He has engaged in varied “real world” projects, including work with teachers/schools and parents to promote altruism in children, projects in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo to promote reconciliation, trainings to develop active bystandership by police so that they stop fellow officers from doing unnecessary harm. For awards and downloads of articles, see

What are the roots of active bystandership—actions to help, prevent harm, promote the welfare of individuals and groups—and what inhibits people from being active bystanders? Dr. Staub will describe research, theory, and examples of interventions to prevent harmful behavior/violence and generate positive action. He will show how passivity encourages and empowers harmful actions and can allow the evolution of extreme harm. He will also highlight the power of individuals (and groups) to prevent harm and generate positive evolution. Among the examples will be genocide and rescuers; interventions in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo to promote reconciliation; and in Amsterdam following violence to improve Dutch-Muslim relations; training of police to be active bystanders who prevent or stop unnecessary harm by fellow officers; and training of students in schools to inhibit bullying. He will also briefly discuss the socialization of children to become caring, helpful, active bystanders.  In the end he will discuss application to the current situation in the U.S.

See poster


Monday, October 2, 2017 - 12:00