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Research Overview

Our work focuses on the design of effective interventions that teach individuals the skills and awareness needed to create lasting positive change in psychological processes critical to their academic and social success. 

In education, a well-constructed intervention utilizes limited time and resources to create lasting positive change in a psychological process critical to the academic or social success of students. Although a number of promising areas for intervention in educational settings have been extensively researched, few of these findings have been systemically integrated by schools into their curricula, or even translated into a form that teachers can use in the classroom and that students can use and benefit from in the course of their everyday lives.

Over the last three years, we at the Heroic Imagination Project have developed, piloted, evaluated, and refined six such interventions that target psychological processes critical to the academic and social success of students, both individually and as a series, to students across a broad range of ages and diverse educational backgrounds. We have incorporated and integrated into our intervention design key methodological and conceptual elements from existing interventions that have been demonstrated to result in lasting positive outcomes for students. We have also constructed a unique intervention framework, based on the research of Bryan Dickerson and Philip Zimbardo and developed in collaboration with Clint Wilkins and Kristin Kay Gundersen, which ties together powerful changemaking techniques utilized in successful interventions with lasting positive outcomes into a unified approach which is applied to each of our 6 areas of intervention.

It is our goal to develop these interventions to make them as powerful, efficient, and lasting as possible, so that we can publish replicable techniques which can be employed by regular teachers and used by anyone throughout the course of their daily lives to create meaningful and lasting positive change.