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SOLUTIONS CATALOG

The SPARQ Solutions Catalog helps practitioners apply social psychological insights to their work in:

Students sitting at graduation

Problem

Even the most prepared students of color have worse grades and health than their European-American classmates.

Solution

When African-Americans are reassured that they belong in school, their grades and health improve.

Two friends

Problem

We are often uneasy around people of other races.

Solution

Befriending just one person of a different race lowers anxiety and prejudice and makes it easier to cross racial boundaries in the future... 

A couple holding hands in front of a sunset

Problem

People with low self-esteem feel less love from their partners and have more trouble in relationships.   

Solution

Teaching people with low self-esteem to interpret their partner’s compliments as deep and enduring, rather than as shallow and fleeting, helps them feel loved and act better in their relationships...

Students take an exam

Problem

Many kids’ grades fall when they make the transition from elementary to middle school.  

Solution

Teaching middle-school students to think of intelligence as a skill they can develop over time, rather than a talent they were born with (or not), helps them persist in the face of setbacks and earn better grades... 

Problem

Most eligible American voters don’t vote in most elections. 

Solution

Messages about “being a voter,” rather than just “voting,” increase registration and turnout in state and national elections...

Woman writing

Problem

Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. 

Solution

Writing about what’s really important in life can help people shed the pounds...

Sad looking boy

Problem

Each year in the United States, some 700,000 children are abused and neglected, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many of these children will grow up to have poorer health, lower incomes, and worse jobs than their peers who were not abused and neglected. 

Solution

Training parents to interpret childrearing challenges as problems they can solve, rather than as evidence that they or their children are bad people, reduces child abuse...

Letter that reads: "Dear john, It has been some time since you were here at the hospital, and we hope...

Problem

Suicide is a leading cause of death, and it is notoriously difficult to prevent.

Solution

Regularly receiving letters from a caring person helps people at risk for committing suicide feel connected and stay alive...

African Tutsis sit

Problem

Nearly 20 years after war and genocide killed 75% of Rwandan Tutsis, the accused perpetrators and their survivors must now learn to live side by side.

Solution

A radio soap opera that shows people how to speak out against corrupt leaders and reconnect with their neighbors helps communities heal after genocide... 

When you care it shows. We are committed to energy and resource conservation. An an effort to conserve thousands of gallons of water each day, we will be changing your linens every third day and at check-out. If you would like your sheets changed daily, simply place this card on your pillow.

Problem

Small acts like reusing a hotel towel can save thousands of gallons of water, detergent, and oil every day. But most hotel guests use their towels only once before having it washed. 

Solution

A simple message that appeals to our desire to fit in with people like us - that is, to follow local social norms - moves hotel guests to reuse their towels...

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