Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Turning Division into Discourse: Educating Adolescents about Viewpoint Diversity

Erin McLaughlin Griffin, University of Pennsylvania

Document Type Thesis or dissertation


In this time of increasing affective polarization in the United States and abroad, the importance of finding a positive path forward for political discourse cannot be understated. This capstone project is focused on the creation of a secondary educational curriculum aimed at cultivating viewpoint diversity. This proposed Viewpoint Diversity Curriculum (VDC) is intended to be a primer for high school students to enable them to engage in civil discussions and to elect (and become) knowledgeable and attuned leaders in their democracy. By using constructs such as intellectual humility, growth mindset, and actively open-minded thinking, the research presented here draws heavily on positive psychology literature to review each specific objective of the VDC. Ultimately, the goal is not to promote a particular value system, but to teach students skills of self-awareness with the intent of making them much more critically aware that other people matter, and their views and values matter, too.


Date Posted: 06 October 2017