Yale Researchers Member of Scientific Team Collaborating with Facebook Engineers to Reduce Cyberbullying

January 10, 2013

NEW HAVEN (January 10, 2013) – Yale University announced today that Marc Brackett, Ph.D., Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Robin Stern, Ph.D., Psychotherapist and Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will participate in Facebook’s Compassion Research Day on January 23, 2013, at 12 p.m (EST). The livestream conference will take place at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. Brackett and Stern, researchers in emotional intelligence, are developers of RULER, an approach to teaching emotional intelligence skills.

This is the third in a series of conferences at Facebook designed to develop a process to empower teens to confront incidents of cyberbullying through online reporting tools. The first Compassion Day took place in 2011 after Facebook engineers recognized the need to improve the design of its system for reporting untoward behavior such as bullying. Partnering with scientists from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and the Moral Emotions and Trust Lab of Claremont McKenna College, Facebook engineers are working hard to make online experience more supportive.

Brackett and Stern will report on a large-scale study they have conducted with hundreds of thousands of teens. Beginning with interview data collected from students, parents, and educators, this unique team of engineers and scientists developed a new reporting system to help teens manage online bullying experiences and use more compassionate communication strategies.

According to Dr. Brackett, “We wanted to empower teens to take positive and safe action by providing simple, effective guidance. Both our research on emotional intelligence and our work in schools using RULER point to the value of giving children practical strategies for managing bullying in their online social worlds.”

Facebook was looking for improved ways to encourage teens to report online problems. According to Arturo Bejar, Director of Engineering, “We are excited to continue our partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Compassion Research Day represents a renewed commitment to the strong partnership we have had with Yale and the wider community for the past few years. We believe that the addition of the Yale Center’s research to our conflict resolution systems and their unique insight into how people can better communicate online, will help those using our site to have an even better experience in a safe environment.”

About the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
Researchers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence believe that everyone deserves an education in social and emotional skills. Every day they lead research and teach people of all ages — from preschoolers to CEOs — the skills they need to build better relationships and make better decisions.

Developed at Yale University, RULER helps students and those who educate them develop critical emotional skills including the ability to recognize, understand, label, express, and regulate emotions. Through its lessons, students have numerous opportunities to practice applying these skills so that they understand the significance of emotions and emotional skills in their lives. For more information visit ruler.yale.edu

Press Contact
Miriam Schroers: 203-747-0945 | miriam.schroers@yale.edu