January 4th, 2013 | University

Lady Gaga enlists help of Yale psychologist

Yale psychologist Marc Brackett has taken on a research gig with a major perk: free Lady Gaga concerts.

Brackett, who is deputy director of Yale’s Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory, has been named to an advisory board of seven scholars guiding the anti-bullying work of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

“Celebrities like Lady Gaga have a huge influence on pop culture,” Brackett told the News. “My hope is to provide the foundation with access to research so that all of its programs are grounded in sound methodology.”

Lady Gaga hopes to use the research conducted by members of her board to strengthen her foundation’s programming. She plans to park a Born Brave Bus in the tailgate area outside her concerts to educate audience members about local resources that can help students deal with social problems.

“A lot of people have been doing academic work on these issues,” advisory board chairwoman Susan Swearer told the New Haven Register. “But how do we communicate what we know and get it out there to the public? It helps to have a megastar with a global network.”

Yale’s Health, Emotion, and Behavior Lab has produced significant data on social intelligence in the past decade. Brackett said that understanding how to regulate social interactions and teach emotional intelligence can have a major impact in schools. He will work with the other members of the advisory board to devise a mechanism for monitoring the effectiveness of Lady Gaga’s anti-bullying efforts.

Brackett will be attending some of Lady Gaga’s shows and monitoring the Born Brave Bus. His favorite song of hers is “The Edge of Glory” — fitting, given the psychologist’s success in recent months. He is currently working on a cyberbullying project with Facebook, and this spring he will direct a new center at Yale focused on teaching emotional intelligence.

Brackett is the co-creator of RULER, an innovative approach to understanding social and emotional intelligence.