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Psych researcher schools Lady Gaga

First there was the Professor of Bluegrass. Now comes the Professor of Gaga.

PoB is Peter Salovey ’81PhD, the Yale psychologist—now university provost and president-elect—who pioneered research on emotional intelligence and, on the side, plays upright bass in a string band called the Professors of Bluegrass.

PoG is Marc Brackett, deputy director of Salovey's Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory and, on the side, a research advisor to Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.

The pop star and her mother launched the foundation in 2011 "to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated," its website says. The focus is on young people, especially those who are shunned or bullied, with a goal of creating "a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world."

The skills part seems to be where Brackett comes in. He's a codeveloper of the "RULER Approach," an evidence-based method to help students and teachers get smart about their feelings. The ability to Recognize, Understand, Label, Express, and Regulate emotions—the components of the acronym—is "the foundation to personal, social, and academic success," the RULER website declares. Kids who learn the method have higher grades, better social and academic skills, and better behavior, the site says.

Whether the RULER Approach embraces such Gaga-esque behavior as wearing a dress made of raw meat and "trying to change the world, one sequin at a time" is not specified.

“I’ve only worked with her on the telephone so far,” Brackett tells the New Haven Register. “My main job is to help promote the tenets of the foundation, but I do get to go to some concerts."

Brackett has also worked with Facebook on anti-bulliying efforts. But just in case all these conflict resolution strategies don't work out, he has a black belt in the Korean martial art of hapkido.

Filed under Marc Brackett, RULER Approach, emotional intelligence, Lady Gaga, Peter Salovey
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