If it weren't for our immune systems, a simple cold could wreak havoc on our bodies and all of society. Luckily, we have immune systems to fight off infections, and we know how to keep them strong, from eating a proper diet to getting immunized. With an understanding of infectious ideas, we can reduce our susceptibility to mind infections in the same way.
To that end, CIRCE is assembling a panel of experts in epidemiology and cognitive science to identify principles of mental immunity and ask: "How do we avoid contaminating others with misinformation?"
The Mental Immunity Project will result in a simple, evidence-based guide to protecting minds from infodemics. We are currently working to produce this user-friendly guide, make the guide freely available, and support widespread efforts to raise awareness of the principles. In this way, we think we can prevent the worst forms of cognitive contagion in our communities. But we could use your help. Support this project with your donation.
This project is supported in part by a grant from the Bernard & Audre Rapoport Foundation. The content is the sole responsibility of CIRCE and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Rapoport Foundation.
The world needs “flaming clarifiers”—people who can use clarifying questions to reduce ambiguity and deepen understanding. The skilled use of clarifying questions can transform vexed and polarizing debates into joyful and productive conversations. Inspired by street epistemologists and informed by cognitive immunology, CIRCE’s “flaming clarifier” project aims to seed the world with 1000 skilled clarifiers, each driven to coax clarity and understanding into existence.
With your support, we can develop the first-of-its-kind “Flaming Clarifier” workshop, recruit 1000 participants, and equip them to become agents of transformational change.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Meade
Invite CIRCE to lead a workshop for your organization, workplace, classroom, or team. Built on a foundation of research, our workshops offer hands-on mental immunity training and help participants to apply CI to their lives. Improve your thinking and interactions and help move our society further toward reason, compassion, and mental immune health.
How do you help people reconsider their beliefs? Can you gently help them examine their assumptions without making them defensive? Absolutely! Thousands of years ago, the famous Socratic Method was developed for this very purpose. Since then, philosophers have used it to free millions of minds from limiting beliefs and assumptions. Now, CIRCE has updated this method for the internet age! Print out our 1-page guide to the New Socratic Method and begin “leveling up” your capacity to facilitate transformative dialogue. Religion? Money? Politics? You got this!
The New Socratic Method workshop can equip anyone to become a modern-day Socrates. This lively experience will give participants the skills they need to guide tricky conversations past common pitfalls and into constructive territory. Contact us to set up a workshop with your organization, discussion group, or workplace.
No one has a perfect mental immune system. In fact, our minds frequently let in ideas that cause problems. That’s why we need to develop our resistance to “mind-infections"--misconceptions, conspiracy theories, divisive ideologies, and the like.
CIRCE’s “12 Steps to Mental Immunity” workshop charts a path to robust mental immune health. Rooted in the principles of cognitive immunology, it highlights the path to next-level critical thinking. Check out the poster to see all twelve steps. If you're interested in this workshop for your group please reach out.
One of CIRCE's goals is to apply the science of mental immunity to the development of better, more effective critical thinking instruction on a much broader scale. You can support this work with a donation to CIRCE.
Can a family dinner with your angry uncle become an uplifting exploration of what you have in common? Can you talk politics with relatives and actually deepen understanding and mutual respect? YES.
Let CIRCE teach you the art of healing dialogue.
In this workshop, you'll learn the techniques that master facilitators use to keep conversations constructive and affirming. Each of us is capable of leveraging powerful social norms to steer conversations back onto safe, productive ground.
Contact CIRCE for details.