Allen M. Omoto, Professor of Education & Psychology and Interim Dean, School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University
"Community and Caring: The Psychology of Volunteerism and Activism"
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Abstract: This talk will explore some of the dynamics of social action and how ordinary citizens “make a difference” for themselves, their communities, and society at large. After defining and describing social action, the specific case of volunteerism will be considered. The results of original multi-method research conducted in different domains will highlight the potential role of psychological connections to others (i.e., sense of community) in motivating and sustaining volunteerism. In addition, evidence will be presented for the impact of psychological sense of community on broader indicators of individual and societal functioning and well-being.
Bio: Allen M. Omoto, Ph.D., is a Professor and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. He is a social psychologist whose research focuses on the social and psychological aspects of prosocial behavior and civic and political engagement. He also conducts research on issues related to the environment, HIV disease, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender concerns. Dr. Omoto has extensive governance and leadership experience at his university and in numerous professional societies.