Sara Konrath

Ann Arbor, MI


Birthday: August 16

Category - Are you signing up as... (choose one): Individual

Name of Company (if any): Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

I am a (check all that apply): Educator/Trainer, Researcher

Which of the following best describes your company/organization (check all that apply): Research organization, Education/training, Non-profit organization

Website link (to your blog or company website):

Who are you? (brief background/overview about yourself): I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program for Empathy and Altruism Research (iPEAR). Our research lab focuses on the implications of empathy and related traits and behaviors for people's health, well-being, and relationships.

Why are you interested in Resilience Tech? We have found that narcissism is rising, and dispositional empathy is declining, in the United States in recent years. These changes are possibly linked to new media and related technologies, since narcissistic people tend to use social networking sites and other types of new media to fulfill their egotistical needs. Yet these new forms of media are simply tools that can be used for any purpose. We see a very high potential to harness the unique strengths of new media tools to create empathic habits through daily practice and engagement. These tools are innovative and creative methods to engage with teens and young adults in familiar and comfortable ways. Our research team is experienced in using text messaging to increase empathy, and we are now hoping to develop smartphone apps that are evidence-based, theoretically conceptualized, and empirically tested and evaluated. In the long-term, these apps can help to increase social connectedness rather than erode it.

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