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Pamela B. Paresky Ph.D.


Pamela Paresky, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow at the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) and Director of the Aspen Center for Human Development (ACHD), where a faculty of fellows from diverse fields can collaborate on issues of leadership, happiness, the good life, and other topics in human development.

Pamela served as Senior Scholar in Psychology and Human Development at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) where she worked with its President and CEO, Greg Lukianoff, and his co-author, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, on their book, The Coddling of the American Mind for which she was their primary researcher and in-house editor. In addition to her frequent contributions to Psychology Today, her work has been published in outlets as different in perspective as The Guardian, Quillette, Brookings, The American Mind, and The New York Times (among others). She is also the creator of A Year of Kindness, a research-based guided journal that encourages people to record daily acts of kindness and thoughts of gratitude.

Her current project, Habits of a Free Mind,™ is a toolkit for engaging across lines of difference without feeling traumatized and without dehumanizing others. Habits of a Free Mind: Psychology for Democracy, was a course offered at the University of Chicago in 2020. Habits of a Free Mind: The Art of Civil Disagreement was offered at Johns Hopkins University in 2022. Habits of a Free Mind: Psychology for Democracy and the Good Life will eventually become a book.

Dr. Paresky has taught at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, and the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). She has provided consulting in areas as diverse as marketing, technical advising for television, curriculum assessment, and leadership development. Through her consulting practice, MultiGenerational Consulting Services, LLC, she works both one-on-one and with groups, offering customized programs that provide the opportunity to transform one’s thinking about leadership and life, roles and relationships, work and philanthropy, and about fundamental questions of personal meaning and happiness.

Dr. Paresky has served on working groups for Service Year Alliance (formerly The Franklin Project), The Red Cross, and the Advisory Panel of the Ethics and Professional Policy Committee of the American College of Medical Quality. She is a member of the Academic Freedom Alliance and serves on the board of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, the National Advisory Board of the Miami-based United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, and the Advisory Board of the Free Speech Union.

Dr. Paresky received a Ph.D. in Human Development and Psychology from the University of Chicago, where her work at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) focused on happiness, relationships, and “Flow,” a construct developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who discovered that the best moments in life often occur when people stretch themselves while working toward something worthwhile.

The focus and goal of Dr. Paresky's research and work is to develop the practices and mental habits necessary to engage in constructive dialogue and disagreement, embrace our common humanity, contribute to and thrive in a pluralist, liberal democracy, and lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. She has received support for her research and curriculum development from the Institute for Humane Studies and FIRE.

In addition to her interdisciplinary Ph.D., Dr. Paresky holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology.

Books by Pamela B. Paresky Ph.D.
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