Ripple Effects Theory Base


Research Background

The foundation of Ripple Effects is a wide and deep, multidisciplinary theory base, that draws from research and practice from five directions: Prevention Science, Education, Technology, Business, and the Humanities. A fully referenced description of how insights from dozens of disciplines and hundreds of subdisciplines are woven into Ripple Effects software is documented in the monograph:


From multidisciplinary Theory to multimedia SEL Interventions: The Conceptual Underpinnings of Ripple Effects Whole Spectrum Intervention System. (Alice Ray, Ripple Effects, San Francisco. 2009.)


It draws from several related disciplines, including social learning, learning theory, software and media design, prevention studies and social and political theory.

No Intellectual Loyalties

The development of Ripple Effects Social Learning Software has not been guided by intellectual loyalties to any single school of thought, tradition or strategy. It uses what has been shown to work best from several traditions: behavioral training from the behaviorists, affective development from therapists, cognitive strategies from leading cognitive therapists, motivation from marketing experts, media design from film and television experts.

Real World Wisdom

Not only professionals, but real people in the real world, including students at-risk for failure, have been intimately involved in the development of this program. The School product line has been field tested in dozens of school districts, with many different needs and demographic markers. The business product is currently being field tested in business settings.

Updated Regularly

Ripple Effects is committed to continually integrating new research findings into the development of its products. The data base structure of the design enables us to do this quickly and easily.