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What We Do

Stanford SPARQ: Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions is a center in the social psychology area of the Stanford University Department of Psychology. Founded by the late social psychologist Nalini Ambady in 2012, SPARQ is not just a think tank. Instead, SPARQ is a “do tank” that partners with practitioners in government, business, and nonprofits to craft solutions to our communities’ most pressing problems.


  • Special Projects that bring together practitioner organizations and Stanford researchers to solve social problems.
  • Research Clinics that covene practitioners and researchers in 2-hour forums.
  • SPARQLab: Undergraduates learn about solving real-world problems with social psychology through hands-on research and weekly discussions.
  • SPARQShop: A course for undergraduate and graduate students who want to learn how to turn social psychological research into digital tools that help solve social ills.
  • Solutions Catalog: An online, practitioner-focused guide to scientifically tested fixes to social problems.

Action Areas


Create and share social psychological insights with people working to improve society.


A world where people understand their behaviors both reflect and reinforce their environments, and where people use this understanding to promote justice, peace, and wellbeing.


  • Help practitioners apply social psychology’s theories, methods, and findings in their work.
  • Improve social psychological theories and methods by applying them to real-world issues.
  • Train a new generation of social psychologists who bridge basic and applied research.
  • Work with media to identify and explain the social psychological forces driving this century’s most pressing problems.


  • Compassion
  • Empiricism
  • Inclusion
  • Optimism
  • Practice-driven theory
  • Theory-driven practice

Donate to SPARQ

We thank the many generous donors who make tax-deductible contributions to SPARQ, either through our online donation system or by mailing checks, payable to "Stanford University," to the following address:

Stanford SPARQ
c/o Alana Conner
Jordan Hall, Building 420
Stanford, CA


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Send comments, questions, and ideas to, or call us at (650) 723-9765.