Key Research Studies
The SEP is backed by research from leading scholars with expertise in mindset science, motivation, and inclusion psychology. Explore a few key studies that inspire and guide our work’s focus on student experiences of belonging and community in building equitable learning environments in higher education. For a full list of research studies informing the SEP, please click here.
Research shows that students’ mindsets play a role in their persistence and achievement in school—for more background on why the SEP is focusing on learning mindsets, see:
What we know about learning mindsets from scientific research by Lisa Quay & Carissa Romero.
Leveraging Mindset Science to Design Educational Environments that Nurture People’s Natural Drive to Learn by Mindset Scholars Network, Lisa Quay.
Equity in STEM
As the scientific community aims to diversify their field, institutions of higher education and faculty in STEM departments have key roles to play in building equity and community in classrooms and labs—ensuring every student feels a sense of belonging in STEM. See the research guiding the SEP’s approach to fostering a sense of belonging, starting in STEM courses:
Professors Who Signal a Fixed Mindset About Ability Undermine Women’s Performance in STEM. Social Psychological and Personality Science. Elizabeth A. Canning, Elise Ozier, Heidi E. Williams, Rasheed AlRasheed, and Mary C. Murphy
STEM faculty who believe ability is fixed have larger racial achievement gaps and inspire less student motivation in their classes Elizabeth A. Canning, Katherine Muenks, Dorainne J. Green, and Mary C. Murphy
Two Brief Interventions to Mitigate a “Chilly Climate” Transform Women’s Experience, Relationships, and Achievement in Engineering. Gregory M. Walton, Christine Logel, Jennifer M. Peach, Steven J. Spencer, Mark P. Zanna
Belonging on Campus and in the Classroom
Financial security and college prep aren’t the only factors that can make or break a student’s success. Research shows that when students experience a sense of belonging and support on campus and in the classroom, they’re more likely to persist through academic challenges and earn their degrees. Learn more about the science of belonging that guides the SEP’s work to find socio-psychological interventions that boost student success:
The Social-Belonging Intervention. Gregory M. Walton and Shannon T. Brady
Places of Belonging: Person- and Place-Focused Interventions to Support Belonging in College Lisel Alice Murdock-Perriera, Kathryn L. Boucher, Evelyn R. Carter, and Mary C. Murphy
The New Science of Wise Psychological Interventions Gregory M. Walton