Experts Say

Dr. Shane Lopez

lopezShane J. Lopez, Ph.D., is the world’s leading researcher on hope. His mission is to help people of all ages exercise some control over what their future can become and to teach them how to aim for the future they want in school, work and life. He is also one of the most vocal advocates of psychological reform of America’s education system. He helps schools function less like impersonal factories and more like dynamic human development centers that help students achieve the meaningful futures they say they really want – including a good job and a happy family.

Dr. Lopez is Gallup Senior Scientist in Residence and Research Director for the Clifton Strengths Institute. As chief architect of the Gallup Student Poll, he has measured hope in over a million people. This measure of hope, engagement, and wellbeing taps into the hearts and minds of U.S. public school students to determine what drives achievement. (It is available at no cost to any school or district interested in using it to start a hope conversation in their community). Dr. Lopez is the director of the annual Gallup Wellbeing Forum, which convenes scholars, leaders, and decision makers to discuss the issues that determine happiness and health.

He researches the links between hope, strengths development, academic success, and overall wellbeing and collaborates with scholars around the world on these issues. He specializes in hope and strengths enhancement for students from preschool through college graduation, advocating a whole-school strengths model that also builds the strengths expertise of educators, parents, and youth development organizations. Dr. Lopez has provided strengths mentoring to thousands of college students, including academic, career, and life planning, and he advises schools, colleges, and universities on these issues. He is coauthor of the statistical reports for the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer.

Dr. Lopez has published more than 100 articles and chapters and eight books, including:

  • Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths,
    (with C.R. Snyder and Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti)
  • The Handbook of Positive Psychology (with C.R. Snyder)
  • Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures (with C.R. Snyder)
  • Positive Psychology: Exploring the Best in People
  • The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology
  • The Psychology of Courage: Modern Research on an Ancient Virtue (with Cynthia Pury)

He is a licensed psychologist and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He also was a professor of psychology for a decade at the University of Kansas.