Projects - current and future

Current Projects

NEW BOOK MANUSCRIPT: What Kind of Future Will Our Children Inherit?

Dr. Samuel P. Oliner’s latest book, What Kind of Future Will Our Children Inherit?, has been accepted for publication by the Humboldt State University Press. It is currently in the design and layout phase with release expected for Fall 2020. In the description, Sam says:

Over the years, my students, research associates, and I have reviewed the literature of psychology, ethics, ecology, climatology, and other areas of study to consider the direction in which our world is going and what kind of future our children will inherit. Our previous work focused on the nature of good and evil—with concern especially for goodness—through which we have considered good in the world and the application of good to achieve a better world. Our books concerned altruism, kindness, empathy, and moral responsibility for diverse others. In this book we will concentrate on the areas of greatest concern regarding our future as a species.


Evidence-Based Panhandling

The Institute continues to distribute pocket-sized and weather-proofed cards that aim to increase the amount of money people engaged in panhandling receive, decrease incidence of conflict between people panhandling and law enforcement, and decrease incidence of conflict between people solicited and those soliciting (thereby leaving both parties feeling safer and more respected).

Read the "white paper" here.


Naloxone (Narcan®) training and distribution

The Altruistic Behavior Institute was approved by the State of California to train people on administration of the life-saving opioid overdose reversal medicine naloxone (Narcan). So far, 45 people have been trained. Each trainee receives two doses of naloxone to use if they encounter an opioid overdose in the course of their work. This project will continue as long as there is funding to sustain it


Lived Experience in Higher Education Student Success

Through a combination of interviews and surveys, this project looks at barriers/supports in higher education for people with lived experience as consumers of public mental health services. The goal is to identify ways to recruit, retain, and graduate people who have participated in mental health services so they can gain or advance employment in public mental health organizations. This investigation may serve as the basis for an experimental research project should an appropriate grant be identified.


"We Live Here" - Strengthening community relationships through identity stories

This project cultivates community connections by collecting, editing, and sharing excerpts from brief interviews with people who have had diverse experiences with marginalization in the Humboldt Bay area. Two paid students are currently working with the Institute to conduct the interviews and edit them into audio clips that can be posted on the Institute website and, perhaps, local radio stations. The intention is to bring forth empathic responses in listeners as they bear witness to stories about people who live in their community. This project will be ongoing as long as there is funding to continue gathering interviews and editing them.


Northern California Integrated Behavioral Health & Substance Use Disorder Training Program

The Altruistic Behavior Institute has a subcontract to expand access to integrated primary and behavioral health care for people diagnosed with opioid and other substance use disorders by increasing the number of workers who receive specialty training. Second year Masters of Social Work students who are completing their field internship with Open Door Community Health Centers receive a $10,000 stipend while the Institute provides them and Open Door behavioral health staff with additional training.


Future Projects (funding needed)

Intellectual Humility and Altruism

Intellectual humility is a concept receiving increased attention in a variety of fields and it is a specific area of funding interest for The Templeton Foundation (a former funder of the Altruistic Personality and Prosocial Behavior Institute). One way to think about intellectual humility is the ability to admit that one might be wrong, or at least lacks full knowledge of a situation to be categorically right. With funding, the Institute will explore the role and effect of intellectual humility in altruistic and prosocial behavior, particularly with people who work in professional helping contexts.

“How do they do it?”—Opioid users stepping away from problematic use

“So sorry I’m sick”—Blame, guilt, shame, and the individualization of health and illness

“All My Relations”—Apology, reparation, and repatriation of land and sacred objects

Manifesto for Ethical Research in Northwestern California