Character Lab

Character Lab is a nonprofit organization that connects researchers with educators to create greater knowledge about the conditions that lead to social, emotional, academic, and physical well-being for young people throughout the country.

Character refers to ways of thinking, acting, and feeling that benefit others as well as ourselves. Character is plural—encompassing strengths of heart, mind, and will. Strengths of heart (such as gratitude and kindness) enable harmonious relationships with other people. Strengths of mind (such as curiosity and creativity) enable independent thinking. Strengths of will (such as grit and self-control) enable us to achieve goals. The site uses the term character where other organizations they respect and support might use terms like social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies, whole child, or life skills.

Character Lab bridges science and practice by making scientific evidence actionable for parents and educators. Character Lab develops strategic partnerships with media, publishers, curriculum creators, and technology providers to raise awareness about how kids thrive and create evidence-based resources.

Playbooks are research-based guides to cultivate strengths of heart, mind, and will. Each includes a curated set of resources, such as recommended curricula, videos, and books.