1st Edition

Handbook of Wise Interventions

Edited By Gregory M. Walton, Alia J. Crum Copyright 2021

    Precise shifts in the ways people make sense of themselves, others, and social situations can help people flourish. This compelling handbook synthesizes the growing body of research on wise interventions--brief, nonclinical strategies that are "wise" to the impact of social-psychological processes on behavior. Leading authorities describe how maladaptive or pejorative interpretations can undermine people’s functioning and how they can be altered to produce benefits in such areas as academic motivation and achievement, health, well-being, and personal relationships. Consistently formatted chapters review the development of each intervention, how it can be implemented, its evidence base, and implications for solving personal and societal problems.

    Introduction, Gregory M. Walton & Alia J. Crum
    I. Education
    1. A Growth Mindset about Intelligence, Carol S. Dweck & David S. Yeager
    2. The Social-Belonging Intervention, Gregory M. Walton & Shannon T. Brady
    3. Self-Affirmation Interventions, David K. Sherman, Mohini Lokhande, Tim Müller, & Geoffrey L. Cohen
    4. The Utility-Value Intervention, Chris S. Hulleman & Judith M. Harackiewicz
    5. Difference-Education: Improving Disadvantaged Students’ Academic Outcomes by Changing Their Theory of Difference, Nicole M. Stephens, MarYam G. Hamedani, & Sarah S. M. Townsend
    6. The Pathways Intervention as a Model to Design Broader Systems of Equitable Student Support, Mesmin Destin & Ivan A. Hernandez
    7. The Strategic Resource Use Intervention, Patricia Chen
    II. Health and Well-Being
    8. Happiness Interventions, Kristin Layous
    9. The Stress-Mindset Intervention, Alia J. Crum, Isaac J. Handley-Miner, & Eric N. Smith
    10. Stress Reappraisal Interventions: Improving Acute Stress Responses in Motivated Performance Contexts, Jeremy P. Jamieson & Emily J. Hangen
    11. Values-Alignment Interventions: An Alternative to Pragmatic Appeals for Behavior Change, Christopher J. Bryan
    12. The Taste-Focused-Labeling Intervention: Emphasizing the Tasty and Enjoyable Attributes of Healthy Foods, Bradley P. Turnwald & Alia J. Crum
    III. Conflict and Relationships
    13. The Incremental Theory of Personality Intervention, David S. Yeager & Hae Yeon Lee
    14. The Empathic-Discipline Intervention, Jason Okonofua & Michael Ruiz
    15. The Group-Malleability Intervention: Addressing Intergroup Conflicts by Changing Perceptions of Outgroup Malleability, Amit Goldenberg, James J. Gross, & Eran Halperin
    16. The Couples Activity for Reappraising Emotions Intervention: A 7-Minute Marital Conflict Intervention Benefits Relational and Individual Well-Being, Erica B. Slotter & Laura B. Luchies
    17. The Abstract Reframing Intervention: Helping Insecure Individuals Benefit from Romantic Partners’ Positive Feedback, Denise C. Marigold
    IV. Sustainability
    18. The Social Norms Approach: A Wise Intervention for Solving Social and Environmental Problems, Jessica M. Nolan, P. Wesley Schultz, Robert B. Cialdini, & Noah J. Goldstein
    19. Dynamic Norm Interventions: How to Enable the Spread of Positive Change, Gregg Sparkman
    Author Index
    Subject Index


    Gregory M. Walton, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology and the Michael Forman University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. His research focuses on how basic social-psychological processes contribute to major social problems, such as how negative stereotypes and stigma change school settings for minority group members in ways that can undermine these students’ feelings of belonging and achievement. Dr. Walton develops novel psychological interventions to address these processes, including to increase student motivation, improve academic achievement, and reduce achievement gaps between groups. He is a recipient of many awards for his research, including the Cialdini Prize and the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

    Alia J. Crum, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and Primary Investigator of the Stanford Mind and Body Lab. Her research focuses on mindsets; how they affect important outcomes in such domains as exercise, diet, and stress; and how they can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to increase physiological and psychological well-being. Dr. Crum is a recipient of awards including the Director's New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health and the Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science. She has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA health care system and has developed interventions focused on mindset change for organizations, including LinkedIn, UBS, Stanford Health Care, and the U.S. Navy.

    "In the last decade, researchers from across psychology have been developing and testing a new generation of theory-guided brief interventions that are changing behaviors of hundreds of people at a time. These 'wise' interventions effectively alter the ways people think about themselves, their studying or eating habits, their marriages, and their health. The outcomes are usually objective and meaningful, and often last for years. From leading researchers in the field, this is the kind of book that has the potential to change the lives of undergraduates, graduate students, and even faculty who yearn to make a difference in the world and who also want to discover new insights about people, institutions, and culture."--James W. Pennebaker, PhD, Regents Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts and Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin

    "This volume highlights innovative interventions and provides behind-the-scenes commentary from their developers. It is indispensable for anyone who wants to use psychological science to change behavior for the better. Each chapter explains a research-based approach to enhancing motivation or changing behavior, and discusses why it works, for whom, and under what conditions."--Angela Duckworth, PhD, Founder and CEO, Character Lab; Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

    “It’s not often that the world’s leading experts on the psychology of changing behavior and improving well-being come together to share their knowledge. This book presents the latest science on what it takes to promote learning, belonging, happiness, health, and peace.”--Adam Grant, PhD, The Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management and Psychology, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

    "This book is particularly useful in terms of teaching about and critically evaluating the value of psychology in the real world. Its underlying framing is quite pragmatic for different ways to organize a course. It centers both the domains of interventions and the psychological concepts underlying those interventions. Instructors using this book as a text might organize their course around domains (for example, units on health, education, relationships) or psychological concepts (for example, belonging and groups, implicit theories, reappraisal)."--Kody Manke, PhD, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University-