Designing a "Locus of Control" Research Intervention for Kids
Character Lab Research Network
The world doesn't just happen to us—we have control over our futures. People with an "internal locus of control" believe and act as if they are the drivers of their lives. People with an "external locus of control" believe that the world just happens to them.
Researchers in our lab wanted to teach kids about having an internal locus of control. Why? Research shows that those with this mindset not only get better grades and have higher graduation rates, but make better life decisions, are more generous, more honest, and experience less stress.
In this project, we aimed to create an intervention for middles school and high school students to teach them about the two mindsets, and steer them toward "internal" control.
Director of Design
Collaboration with researchers
Ideation of Solutions
I collaborated with researchers to learn the science, and came up with ways to visualize the mindsets of internal or external control, such as the graphics here.
In the study, students are taught the research through these graphics. Then they're given a little quiz to measure how much internal locus of control they have. Last, they're given tips on how they can grow.
While these sketches were only intended as prototypes for a pilot study, the researchers eventually used them as one of 12 studies in a research partnership with 18,000 students in a public school system in Florida.
The data from the study are now under review.