Research Programs

Our research addresses a central question about human development and education: how and when do people perceive failures and setbacks as crucial information and a stepping stone to grow?

For decades, research in education has focused on teaching subject matter, student achievement and academic skills. There is no doubt that these areas are important. The foundational belief of EPIC research programs is that even high-quality instruction may yield disappointing results if students give up when they encounter failure or undesirable outcomes. 

To benefit maximally from school and in life beyond K-12, students need to utilize the information that comes from both success and failure, as well as learn how to use that information to achieve later in life. EPIC’s research as follows focuses on what failure means to children and adults from various backgrounds, sources of their failures, determinants of people’s reaction to failure, and how to help people cope with their failure experiences.

Check out the video to learn more about EPIC's research from Dr. Xiaodong Lin: 

EPIC's research program consists of the following areas of studies:

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Background Image: Einstein Background

Research Spotlight: “Even Einstein Struggled

Students’ beliefs that success in science depends on exceptional talent negatively impact their motivation to learn. For example, such beliefs have been shown to be a major factor steering students away from taking science and math courses in high school and college. In the present study, we tested a novel story-based instruction that models how scientists achieve through failures and struggles.

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