Research on psychological safety has been growing in recent years due to its role in promoting creativity and innovation, among other items. This is because teams with high levels of psychological safety feel safe to express ideas and opinions. While we are becoming more aware of the importance of psychological safety in teaming, there is limited evidence in how to facilitate or build it within teams, particularly in an educational context. This paper was developed to respond to this research void by identifying the impact of teaming interventions aimed at improving psychological safety in engineering design student teams. Specifically, we studied two cohorts of students in a cornerstone design class (N = 414 students), one who received a series of video interventions and introduced role playing (intervention) and one who did not (control). These role assignments — referred to as the Lenses of Psychologically Safety — were created to promote key leadership attributes that have been shown to be crucial in facilitating psychologically safe teams. To compare the utility of the intervention, Psychological Safety was gathered at 5 key time points of a multi-week design project. The results identified three key findings. First, the interventions were successful in increasing psychological safety in engineering teams. In addition, the results indicated the utility of the Lenses of Psychological Safety throughout the design process. Finally, the results identified that groups who used these lenses had higher perceptions of Psychological Safety in their teams. Overall, these results indicated that psychological safety can be improved in engineering education through the intervention methods described within.

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