Hunter Gehlbach

Hunter Gehlbach
University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB · Department of Education

PhD

About

63
Publications
63,355
Reads
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2,375
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - present
University of California, Santa Barbara
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2006 - June 2015
Harvard University
Position
  • Associate Professor of Education
Education
September 1999 - June 2004
Stanford University
Field of study
  • Psychological Studies in Education

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
As an educational problem, the accelerating loss of biodiversity—one of the planet’s most pressing issues—represents a particularly intriguing challenge. First, although biodiversity loss unfolds around us on a daily basis, many individuals struggle to see, comprehend, and care about it. In addition, educators addressing biodiversity loss must atte...
Preprint
As an educational problem, the accelerating loss of biodiversity—one of the planet’s most pressing issues—represents particularly intriguing challenge. First, although biodiversity loss unfolds around on a daily basis, many individuals struggle to see, comprehend, and care about it. In addition, educators addressing biodiversity loss must address m...
Article
For many, declining biodiversity represents an emotionally and psychologically distant ‘cost’ – similar to how a number of people perceive climate change. Using an expectancy-value theory framework, we showed participants photographs that visibly illustrated the threat of biodiversity loss. Specifically, we tested a combination of preregistered and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Arguably, social perspective taking—the process through which perceivers discern the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of a target—facilitates interpersonal interactions more than any other human capacity. Thus, this capacity is foundational for relationships, mental health and well-being, behaviors, and much more. Despite its importance to the h...
Article
As the world reckons with the existential threat posed by climate change, the US remains deeply divided about the need for action. The solution to this problem, many have argued, begins with teaching environmentalism in primary and secondary schools and fostering receptivity to environmental issues and environmental science among the next generatio...
Article
Full-text available
Education researchers use surveys widely. Yet, critics question respondents’ ability to provide high-quality responses. As schools increasingly use student surveys to drive local policy making, respondents’ (lack of) motivation to provide quality responses may threaten the wisdom of using questionnaires for data-based decision making. To better und...
Preprint
Education researchers use surveys widely. Yet, critics question respondents’ ability to provide high-quality responses. As schools increasingly use student surveys to drive local policymaking, respondents’ (lack of) motivation to provide quality responses may threaten the wisdom of using questionnaires for data-based decision-making. To better unde...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, scholars have noted how several “old-school” practices—a host of long-standing scientific norms—in combination, sometimes compromise the credibility of research. In response, other scholarly fields have developed several “open-science” norms and practices to address these credibility issues. Against this backdrop, this special issue explo...
Article
Our field experiment extends prior work on college matriculation by testing the extent to which an artificially intelligent (AI) chatbot’s outreach and support to college students (N = 4442) reduced summer melt and improved first-year college enrollment at a 4-year university. Specifically, we investigate which students the intervention proves most...
Preprint
Recently, scholars have noted how several “old school” practices—a host of well-regarded, long-standing scientific norms—in combination, sometimes compromise the credibility of research. In response, other scholarly fields have developed several “open science” norms and practices to address these credibility issues. Against this backdrop, this spec...
Article
Full-text available
The global pandemic and sudden lack of face-to-face contact between teachers and students has accelerated interest in social-emotional learning (SEL). With greater numbers of people thinking about SEL, more confusion has emerged: How should we conceptualize SEL? Which constructs should be included? We propose a conceptualization of SEL that is anch...
Preprint
Full-text available
The global pandemic and sudden lack of face-to-face contact between teachers and students has accelerated interest in social-emotional learning (SEL). With greater numbers of people thinking about SEL, more confusion has emerged: How should we conceptualize SEL? Which constructs should be included? We propose a conceptualization of SEL that is anch...
Preprint
Many individuals struggle to see, comprehend, and care about the planet’s accelerating loss of biodiversity. Scholars suggest that the impact of declining biodiversity remains emotionally and psychologically distant—similar to how many perceive climate change. Yet, because people see representations of species and habitats routinely throughout thei...
Article
Full-text available
Registered reports engender a review process in which reviewers evaluate the merits of the research question rather than the magnitude or direction of the results. In this process, authors first submit introduction, methods, and prespecified analyses sections of an article. Next, an initial peer-review process assesses the merits of the research qu...
Preprint
The Center for Open Science (COS) will create an ECR Data Resource Hub to facilitate rigorous and reproducible research practices such as data sharing and study registration. The Hub will integrate training materials, infrastructure, community engagement, and innovation in research to advance rigorous research skills and behavior across the STEM ed...
Article
Teacher evaluation reform has been among the most controversial education reforms in recent years. It also is one of the costliest in terms of the time teachers and principals must spend on classroom observations. We conducted a randomized field trial at four sites to evaluate whether substituting teacher-collected videos for in-person observations...
Article
Full-text available
For a host of reasons, training students and teachers to more accurately discern the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of others is more important than ever. One approach to improving social perspective taking entails teaching students to understand when and how bias impedes their efforts to “read” others. To facilitate this educational goal, we...
Article
Full-text available
People feel motivated to maintain consistency across many domains in life. When it comes to climate change, many find themselves motivated to maintain consistency with others, e.g., by doubting climate change to cohere with friends' and neighbors' beliefs. The resulting climate skepticism has derailed discussions to address the issue collectively i...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose/Objective Under the reauthorized Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states and districts retain greater discretion over the measures included in school quality report cards. Moreover, ESSA now requires states to expand their measurement efforts to address factors like school climate. This shift toward more comprehensive measures of school q...
Preprint
Within the United States, bipartisan progress on climate change has essentially come to a standstill. Conservatives frequently doubt the findings of climate science; liberals frequently disbelieve that any rational human can doubt the scientific consensus on climate change. The issue has become so politically noxious, it has essentially foreclosed...
Preprint
As global challenges increasingly require cross-cultural solutions, the need to train the current generation of students to more accurately discern the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of others escalates in importance. One approach to improving social perspective taking entails teaching students when and how bias impedes their efforts to “read”...
Article
Full-text available
Checklists can mitigate a multitude of high-cost mistakes in fields ranging from surgery to aviation. As part of a standard protocol, checklists may provide many benefits, including improved equity and communication among team members and more efficient integration of different processes during complex tasks. Mostly, though, checklists serve as eas...
Article
Full-text available
Like performance enhancing drugs inflating apparent athletic achievements, several common social science practices contribute to the production of illusory results. In this article, we examine the processes that lead to illusory findings and describe their consequences. We borrow from an approach used increasingly by other disciplines—the norm of p...
Article
Full-text available
Deep reinforcement learning using convolutional neural networks is the technology behind autonomous vehicles. Could this same technology facilitate the road to college? During the summer between high school and college, college-related tasks that students must navigate can hinder successful matriculation. We employ conversational artificial intelli...
Article
Although teacher-student relationships (TSRs) lie at the heart of teaching and learning, measuring these relationships presents unique challenges. These challenges implicate how school leaders understand the connections between TSRs and student outcomes. This article addresses these challenges by describing a new approach to measuring TSRs centered...
Article
Full-text available
Administrators often struggle in getting teachers to trust their school’s evaluation practices – a necessity if teachers are to learn from the feedback they receive. We attempted to bolster teachers’ support for receiving evaluative feedback from a particularly controversial source: student-perception surveys. For our intervention, we took one of t...
Article
Full-text available
When it comes to measuring the quality of a school, policy leaders tend to embrace standardized tests as the go-to indicator, whereas parents and community members tend to rely on reputation, word-of-mouth, and what they perceive with their own eyes. The authors suggest a better approach: a new framework that looks at three categories of inputs (th...
Article
Despite the enthusiasm around social-emotional learning, the vast number of skills, dispositions, and attitudes we hope to infuse into students will overwhelm even the most ambitious schools. However, a single core capacity underlies a great many social-emotional learning outcomes: social perspective taking. Recent research on this process of “read...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Student intention and motivation are among the strongest predictors of persistence and completion in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), but these factors are typically measured through fixed-response items that constrain student expression. We use natural language processing techniques to evaluate whether text analysis of open responses questions...
Article
Full-text available
When people perceive themselves as similar to others, greater liking and closer relationships typically result. In the first randomized field experiment that leverages actual similarities to improve real-world relationships, we examined the affiliations between 315 9th grade students and their 25 teachers. Students in the treatment condition receiv...
Article
The process of social perspective taking holds tremendous promise as a means to facilitate conflict resolution. Despite rapidly accumulating knowledge about social perspective taking in general, scholars know little about how the type of social perspective taking affects outcomes of interest. This study tests whether different ways to “walk a mile...
Article
Full-text available
Students whose school environment fits their developmental needs also typically experience academic success and increased motivation. Most investigations of school fit, which focus on teachers’ and students’ perceptions, have found a general decline in fit across the transition from elementary to middle school. However, little research has examined...
Article
Full-text available
The coming years are likely to manifest increased pressure to administer surveys to early adolescents. Yet, because their cognitive capacities are still developing, these youth pose particular challenges for self-administered questionnaires. Thus, the biased response patterns often found in poorly constructed survey measures may be particularly acu...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract In this AMEE Guide, we consider the design and development of self-administered surveys, commonly called questionnaires. Questionnaires are widely employed in medical education research. Unfortunately, the processes used to develop such questionnaires vary in quality and lack consistent, rigorous standards. Consequently, the quality of the...
Chapter
Full-text available
The idea that adopting the roles of others will foster an array of desired educational outcomes pervades the field of education. Social studies simulations, anti-bullying interventions, conflict mediation programs, and other role-taking exercises are borne from the implicit logic that when participants can “walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins”...
Article
Full-text available
Parents' attitudes about their children's schools matter. Their views can shape their children's attitudes about school, affect their levels of family-school engagement, and influence their residential and school enrollment decisions. In this article, we describe the development of a survey scale to assess parent perceptions of the climate of their...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Although teacher–student relationships lie at the heart of students’ schooling experience, fundamental questions regarding these relationships remain unanswered. Aims. This study investigates three related questions about these relationships: To what extent do they change from the beginning to the end of a school year? Are any emergent...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly colleges and universities use survey results to make decisions, inform research, and shape public opinion. Given the large number of surveys distributed on campuses, can researchers reasonably expect that busy respondents will diligently answer each and every question? Less serious respondents may ‘‘satisfice,’’ i.e., take shortcuts to...
Article
Full-text available
This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the cont...
Article
Full-text available
Frequently and accurately discerning others’ thoughts and feelings is associated with multiple valued educational outcomes across an array of settings. Despite its foundational role in social interactions, it is unclear whether individuals can be taught to improve their social perspective taking capacities. This experiment assesses whether a curric...
Article
Full-text available
Background/Context Research indicates that social perspective taking—the capacity to discern the thoughts and feelings of others—plays a role in many important outcomes in schools. Despite the potential benefits for students and educators, little is known about social perspective taking (SPT) as a process. Purpose/Research Question If educational...
Article
Full-text available
Background/Context A growing literature describes multiple benefits of social perspective taking—many of which are particularly important for schools. Despite these potential benefits for administrators, counselors, teachers, and students, little is known about social perspective taking as a process. Purpose/Research Question If educational resear...
Article
Full-text available
For years psychologists across many subfields have undertaken the formidable challenge of designing survey scales to assess attitudes, opinions, and behaviors. Correspondingly, scholars have written much to guide researchers in this undertaking. Yet, many new scales violate established best practices in survey design, suggesting the need for a new...
Article
Full-text available
People are intrinsically motivated to connect to others socially. One of the most important mechanisms in fostering social relationships is social perspective taking (SPT)—the capacity to discern the thoughts and feelings of others. Thus, students in social studies classrooms might be motivated to engage with their subject either through taking the...
Article
Full-text available
Teaching and learning are fundamentally social enterprises. In attempting to understand, explain, and predict social behavior, social psychologists have amassed scores of empirically-grounded, fundamental principles. Yet, many such principles have yet to be applied to classrooms despite the social nature of these settings. This article illustrates...
Article
Full-text available
The current mindset of the Army is that it must be able to win our Nation’s wars while at the same time ready to assist in stability operations (U.S. Department of the Army, 2008). A challenge is that Soldiers often have to bridge large cultural gaps and may lack the language skills to effectively engage with the host of individuals now present in...
Article
This study examined the potential of simulations to bolster interest in middle school social studies classrooms. Using a pre–post-design, we examined 305 middle school students (49% female) who participated in the web-based GlobalEd simulation. In contrast to the motivation declines middle school students usually experience, participants in this si...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over the past two decades, achievement goal theory has become a prominent approach to examining how students are motivated to achieve in school and has informed how educators can foster interesting, supportive classroom environments. Goal theorists posit the existence of two types of achievement goals—mastery goals that orient individuals toward de...
Article
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Do students tend to set similar types of goals throughout the school year, or do their goal orientations shift over time? If students become more oriented toward mastery or performance over the course of the year, do they improve in their academic achievement, have a more positive affect toward class, and develop the cognitive propensities that the...
Article
Full-text available
Social perspective taking (SPT) is thought to be important in its own right and is often associated with other important skills, such as interpersonal conflict resolution. Previous research on SPT, however, has conceptualized it as a unidimensional construct leaving scholars with an insufficient understanding of this aptitude and how it relates to...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the relationship between social perspective taking (SPT) and student achievement in three domains: conflict resolution, historical empathy, and social studies grades. Although many have asserted that SPT relates to important educational outcomes, varying conceptualizations of SPT have impeded researchers' abilities to assess t...
Article
This study used M. Ford's (1992) conception of motivation to examine whether the factors that motivate students to achieve function differently for high, medium, and low ability learners in social studies classrooms. Participants were a diverse sample of 600 10th grade world history students. Data sources included student surveys, a multiple-choice...
Article
Full-text available
Discusses motivation systems theory and the complexity of motivation. Recommends that teachers reframe traditional dual dichotomies concerning intrinsic versus extrinsic orientations in motivation, intellectual challenge versus self-esteem development, or personal growth versus shared standards by blending the best assets from both to create classr...
Article
TAPPED IN™ is an online community that supports teachers' professional growth through both formal education and professional development programs provided by a coalition of partner organizations and informal activities that occur year-round. The authors of this paper are members of both the community and a research team investigating whether and ho...

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Projects (3)
Project
To improve the quality of the surveys/questionnaires used in health professions education.