Behind every effective program are psychological frameworks.
Using our suite of measures, and the global evidence base, we continually test the assumptions around the short and long term impact of our programs and services. This is represented in our strategy and which also aligns to our Theory of Change, which articulates how and why we create social change.
The 4 Big Decisions are a fundamental component of our programs. Here we explain the theory underpinning some of the core tools and concepts in the context of the 4 Big Decisions.
Drawing from Positive Psychology, we know that identifying one’s positive attributes and verbalising them through affirmations improves wellbeing. Using what psychologists call the ‘best possible self’ we improve optimism via a simple visualisation exercise. Acts of Kindness and Gratitude activities heighten one’s sense of fortune and can clinically reduce depression.
For young people, this means large increases in happiness and optimism and a dramatic reduction in the risk of mental health disorders.
Rooted in Goal Planning Theory, from the school of Motivation, this suite of tools helps young people to set specific and challenging goals that are proven to improve performance. Together with appropriate feedback from trainers, this leads to raised aspirations, better organisation skills and a road map for achievement.
For young people, this means measurable improvements in goal planning skills and perseverance to complete goals even when things are difficult.
Drawing from Social Learning Theory, we know that the program’s Communication Tools are effective in improving relationships and self-image through the ‘norm of reciprocity’. Students also learn to negotiate win-win conflict resolution solutions via specific tools and techniques.
For young people this means:
• They, and their families, consistently report better relationships.
• They feel more connected and have measurably higher self-esteem.
Combining Personality Theory, Motivational Theory and Cognitive Behaviour approaches, our trainers help young people to take responsibility for their own outcomes. Breaking the cycle of negative self-belief, and using techniques of graded exposure to increasingly step outside their comfort zone, they start to see their future differently and the world sees them more positively.
For young people this means their confidence and aspirations are consistently raised with more young people wanting to attend higher education.