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2022-2023 NHSEB Impact Study

The Parr Center for Ethics is excited to announce the first ever large-scale empirical study of public philosophy programs in the United States. Our inaugural study centers on our signature pre-college program, the National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB)—a competitive yet collaborative activity for discussing ethical and political issues. Our aim is to investigate how participation in this program might affect students’ intellectual and interpersonal traits.


Our 2022-2023 study has now concluded. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about future impact assessment efforts, email our Dr. Michael Vazquez.





Who can participate in the Impact Study?

Any high school student in the United States who is at a school that participates in the National High School Ethics Bowl, regardless of whether those students are themselves involved with the program. We hope to recruit groups of students, whether that is NHSEB teams, teams from another extracurricular club or activity, or an entire classroom.


What does participation look like?

Participation involves completing two surveys spaced about five months apart. Each survey will only take about 10-15 minutes and each can be completed online with a computer or mobile device. Students will need parental permission to participate. Our parental consent form can be completed online and shared with students well in advance of administering the first survey.


Why should my students participate in this research?

This study is a simple way to help the Parr Center improve the National High School Ethics Bowl and advance its mission. In addition, the Parr Center will sponsor a pizza party for all students who participate (after completion of the second survey)!


How can I get involved?

Our 2022-2023 study is already underway. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about future impact assessment efforts, email our Study Coordinator Dr. Michael Vazquez.






Questions? Contact Study Coordinator Michael Vazquez (! 



Research Team


Michael Prinzing, Ph.D.  |  Consulting Research Scientist, Principal Investigator

Michael Prinzing is a philosopher and scientist who studies human flourishing. That is, his research integrates empirical and philosophical methods, with the aim of better understanding what it means to be well and live a good life. Michael received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2022 and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University. Along with others at the Parr Center, Michael is organizing a quasi-experimental study to investigate how philosophy outreach programs might promote intellectual and civic virtues.



Michael Vazquez, Ph.D.  |  Study Coordinator, Co-Investigator

Michael Vazquez is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Director of Outreach at the Parr Center for Ethics. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and specializes in ancient philosophy and the philosophy of education. He is committed to forging lasting, democratic, and collaborative partnerships between the academy and the community, and to cultivating the philosophical voices of people of all ages. In addition to the Executive Committee of the National High School Ethics Bowl, he serves on the Public Philosophy Committee of the American Philosophical Association (APA) and the Academic Advisory Board of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO). He is also a lecturer on the Social Foundations of Education for Penn’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.



Alex Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Director, National High School Ethics Bowl

Alex Richardson has been Director of the National High School Ethics Bowl since 2019. A philosopher working at the intersections of ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of education, Alex is an award-winning teacher and an advocate for public and pre-college philosophy pedagogy. His research interests are varied, but as of late concern issues in moral and civic education. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2021, where he wrote a dissertation on the liberal virtue of civility and its role in the non-ideal politics of democratic societies like our own. In addition to his work at the Parr Center, Alex teaches in the Department of Philosophy at Elon University. Alex also serves on Boards of Directors for the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics and Ethics Bowl Canada.





Study Materials













This study is approved by the University of North Carolina Internal Review Board (IRB #22-1192). You may contact the board at (919) 966-3113 or via email at