Missing Link: Marrying Applied Positive Psychology and Diversity Training


Masa GongFollow

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Diversity training has grown over the last twenty years and has recently surged in the wake of the global protests for racial justice and equality sparked by the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The U.S. Census Bureau has projected that non-Hispanic Whites will no longer be the majority racial group by the year 2044. The emerging majority will be composed of Asians, Blacks, Latinx, and other races. To prepare for this multicultural shift and help increase connectivity between groups, especially in the current COVID-19 era of working from home and Black Lives Matter, companies are investing heavily in diversity training. Diversity training aspires to help workers learn about and appreciate differences as a pathway to more egalitarian behaviors and practices, and diversity also aids in the economic success of the business. Yet current diversity training effects can encompass the opposite. For example, social dominance challenges, power and status needs, in-group and out-group divisions, fragility, negativity, and mixed results in terms of bias reduction, behavior change, and equality in the workplace. This paper will explore how applied positive psychology may help to ameliorate these negative effects and therefore increase the odds of meaningful long-term change.


diversity training, race, bias, social psychology, positive psychology, intergroup relations


Business/Work, Relationships


Literature review

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Date Posted: 22 September 2020