CAPS (Living on the Edge) Poverty Simulation: Experiential Learning on Economic Inequality

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Stephen Wright, Department of Psychology

Project Team: Odilia Dys-Steenbergen, Kat Bernard, Loren Catotal, Mariana Cerqueira, Angeline Chin, April Chai, Jade Coubarakis, Ashley Dallazanna, Jessica Deacon, Brittany Dennett, Ehsaan Elhagehassan, Shannon Ferrier, Taylor Goble, Julia Hewko, Nicole Hillis, Julia Hindy, Clara Hong, Donna Hutchinson, Julie Kim, Melissa Lambert, Brittany Lasanen, Maria Christie Lustiyani, Zohrah Mahbubbi, Gillian Manuel, Jonathan Mendel, Andrea Mena-Imbriani, Laura Mommertz, Paul Ngen, Cassandra Nimchuk, Sam Norton, Tanveer Omar, Ava Outadi, Christina Park, Gabriel Quon, Sabeha Ramji, Harmanjeet Singh, Tiffany Tang, Phoebe Giovani Tantia, Yixuan Tian, Earl Villarosa, Fernando Villasenor, Maitland Waddell, Nancy Wen, Ashley Wong, Jenny Yang, Monica Yenko and Jacqueline Yip, research assistants and volunteers

Timeframe: June 2015 to June 2017

Funding: $10,000  

Course addressed: PSYC 363 – Intergroup Relations

Final report: View Stephen Wright's final report (PDF)

Interim report: View Stephen Wright's project interim report (PDF)

Description: The investigation will focus on the addition of a poverty simulation (CAPS: Living on the Edge) to the PSYC363 course.  One of the key goals of the course is to “explore ways in which the social psychological study of intergroup relations can help us understand contemporary social issues and inform efforts to influence relevant social change”.  We are interested to see how adding this simulation improves students’ understandings of concepts that are currently presented in traditional learning forms (e.g., through lectures and course readings). We are also interested in investigating the experiences of course TAs and other volunteers who assist in the running of the simulation.

Questions addressed:

  • Does participation in the simulation improve understanding of concepts currently presented in traditional learning forms?
  • How does this form of experiential learning allow for different understanding of concepts?
  • What are the experiences of course TAs and volunteers associated with the new course simulation

Knowledge sharing:

Chin, J. Y. A. (2017, April). A poverty simulation: Its effectiveness as an intervention. Presentation at the Social Psychology Area Meeting, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Dys-Steenbergen, O., & Wright, S. C. (2017, June). Poverty reduction in North America: How to mobilize the economically advantaged. Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). June 24-26, 2017, Albuquerque, NM.

Keywords: poverty simulation; experimental learning; student engagement; deeper learning, Poverty Intervention, Poverty Reduction, Poverty Awareness,  Intergroup Relations, Social Change