Title

Hope in History: A Model and Experiment for Civic Activists in Positive Politics

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

2019

Abstract

Witnessing an act of moral beauty elicits feelings of elevation, a positive emotion which can in turn increase altruistic feelings and behaviors. Reviews of scholarship on moral elevation suggest building on current findings by designing and testing the effectiveness of large-scale elevation interventions that may have powerful, widespread positive effects. The capstone’s artifact is a grant proposal for an experiment to test the impact of an experiential event for political activists with moral exemplars from a successful nonviolent social change movement that could be relevant to the present. The grant proposal will allow us to test an expected increase in civility with ideologically diverse political activists using moral elevation and building character strengths reflections of love and open-mindedness, and other strengths of character like hope, courage, and fairness. This elevation experience will be followed by a year-long, weekly related character-strength building journaling exercise or small-group dialogue with participants to assess whether elevation’s effect can be extended and amplified and to measure any improvements in civility.

Keywords

moral elevation, altruism, open-mindedness, agape love, political polarization

Topic

Character Strengths and Virtues, Relationships

Format

Other Formats

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Date Posted: 30 October 2019