Current Projects

Self-Motivation to Virtue Project

Description
  • The goal of this research study is to deepen our understanding of what factors motivate people to be virtuous.  Virtue is a complex yet vitally important resource to cultivate in people. This project uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the motivational underpinnings of virtuous behaviour. Two convergent mixed methods studies address the following question: Does nation, faith, or wisdom matter more in the development of the virtuous self?

  • In Study 1 (2016-2018), In-depth interviews were conducted with participants of 4 faith conditions (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Agnostic) in 2 nations (Canada and South-Korea) at 2 stages of adulthood (emerging adult and older adult). In the interviews, participants discussed morality and virtue within the context of their own lives and the lives of personally-known moral exemplars.

  • In Study 2 (2018-present), data from moral nominees of the same nations and faith conditions will be compared to that of the general population assessed in Study 1.

Research Team

Michel Ferrari, Monika Ardelt, Melanie Munroe, Fatemeh Alhosseini, Suwimon Phaetthayanan, Samara Obaidi, Hyeyoung Bang, Nic Weststrate, John Vervaeke 

Wisdom and Life Management in Muslim Immigrants and Refugees

Description

The purpose of this project is to (1) to characterize the situated nature of wisdom (e.g., wise coping) within displaced communities—specifically, the characterization and appropriation of a specific wisdom tradition (Islam) at the intersections of culture, gender and life stage as it relates to life management; (2) to study the role of wisdom in effective coping with challenges to successful life management, and generally to quality of

life; and (3) to provide information for new refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries to help improve their coping skills and quality of life in Canada.

 

Phase 1 involves a general 2-hour survey of acculturation of recent Iranian immigrants (n=200) and Syrian refugee (n=200) (<5 in Canada) residing in the GTA, using standardized instruments to assess wisdom, coping style, acculturation and general quality of life. Half of the participants from each group will be emerging adults (age 20-25) and half will be middle aged adults (age 30-45).

Phase 2 involves interviewing 40 participants from each immigrant cultural group (Iranian and Syrian) with the highest wisdom scores based on the results of Phase 1, divided equally by age and gender. As well as a semi-structured 1-month audio diary and follow-up interview.

Research Team

Michel Ferrari, Monika Ardelt, Saba Safdar, Fatemeh Alhosseini, Sadaf Pouriliyaei, Asma Shamim

 

Timeline

This study has began at the end of 2018, and will continue through 2022.

Scope and Frames

of the Science of wisdom

Description

How do we study wisdom?  The scientific study of wisdom has seen significant growth in the past 30 years.  The present comprehensive review aims to explore empirical studies of wisdom - any related study with scientific evidence and interpretation.   New labs, research paradigms, measurement tools, strategies, and tangential inquiries are explored. 

 

The present  systematic review (2018-present) is primarily focused on how wisdom is conceptualized, measured, and connected to other psychological constructs.

Research Team

Michel Ferrari, Nicole A. Sardella, Juensung Kim, Arjun Hari, Caroline Jee, Michel Alexandrovsky, Rebecca Antonacci, Rose Talebi, Scott Walker, Shreyashi Saha, Sydney Caskenette, Mashal Noor-Ellahi, Klei Hoxha, Daniella Ysabel Aguilar, Esha Patel, Jane Tsai, Benjamin Chabot

Neuroscience of wisdom

Description

Is there a neuroendophenotype for wisdom? This research seeks to find the neural patterns underlying wise behaviour and thought, hoping to determine whether we can promote wisdom through various technologies and if there can be a truly objective and biological science to study something so subjective.

Research Team

Kiana Habibagahi, Pouria Saffaran, Vlad Glezin, Zhala Taghi-Zada, Janet Li, Anindita Bhowmik 

COVID-19 Coping Study

Description

This study follows a sample of Canadian and American participants as they navigate the effects of COVID-19. It investigates how social, personal, and psychological factors determine the improvement/deterioration of well-being during COVID-19. 

Research Team

Zhe Feng, Melanie Munroe, Asma Shamim, Pouria Saffaran, Ramizah Rafik, Mohamed Al-Refae, Remsha Rana

Scoping Review of chinese wisdom exemplars

Description

This study systematically reviews all academic publications on wisdom exemplars in Chinese people's mind, and aims to identify the common profiles of the wise in this particular cultural arena. 

Research Team

Zhe Feng, Yunjia Jia, Lorraine Fu

Ideal types of the wise person

Description

Through measuring wisdom exemplars' wisdom using different methods, this study identifies the ideal types of the wise for the Chinese population.

Research Team

Zhe Feng, Michel Ferrari, Yunjia Jia, Hongfei Tan

Intergenerational storytelling in china

Description

This study surveys the memorable stories told by Chinese grandparents to their grandchildren. Through identifying the common story topics, it provides a perspective into the nature of intergenerational relations between Chinese grandparents and grandchildren. 

Research Team

Zhe Feng, Dr. Nic Weststrate, Jinglei Chen, Xinyan Xiong

Exploring pathways from growth to wisdom

Description

This study had three main objectives: (1) investigate the association of negative cognitions, coping, and their interactions with PTSD, (2) examine whether self-compassion and meaning are associated with posttraumatic growth in individuals with probable PTSD, and (3) investigate the association between self-compassion, emotion- and problem-focused coping, and posttraumatic growth. 

Research Team

Melanie Munroe, Helen Chan, Mohamed Al-Refae, Neeti Sharma, Luke Pham, Anindita Bhowmik, Mashal Noor-Ellahi, Xuan Ma, Pouria Saffaran, Yasemin Arikcan, Ramizah Rafik, Kiana Habibagahi, Rakshita Kathuria, Pavandeep Kang, Zahra Arabi-Ardakani, Adrian Gudino, Rebecca Antonacci, Wilsy Choudhary, Amber Iqbal, Tiffany Kayar, Chevonne Li, Kevin Tang, Holly Chen, Naomi Watson, Konstantinos Xanthios, Jenny Jun

Timeline

Study complete, projective tests of ego development still being analyzed

Cognitive Factors of coping with adversity

Description

 

The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanisms that explain the relationship between posttraumatic growth and wisdom, specifically examining whether cognitive flexibility and self-regulation act as mediators in this relationship.

Research Team

Melanie Munroe, Helen Chan, Neeti Sharma, Katherine Skowronski, Autriya Irani, Michelle Wang, Luke Pham, Naomi Watson, Chevonne Li, Anindita Bhwomik, Wilsy Chowdhury, Amber Iqbal, Mashal Noor-Ellahi

Timeline

Study complete, wise reasoning data still being analyzed

Cross-Cultural Wisdom

Description

 

This project examines the implicit and explicit theories of wisdom across six countries: Canada, the United States, Ukraine, Iran, China, and Serbia. We are interested in explaining the relationship between wisdom and well-being.

Research Team

Jenny Jun, Michel Ferrari, Milan Lazic, Pouria Saffaran, Jane Tsai, Vlad Glezin

Resilience among newcomer students

Description

 

The purpose of this study is to explore resilience in newcomer students' lives via a strength-based, narrative, and transformative platform.

Research Team

Fatemeh Alhosseini, Cam Kilgour, Aldonna Stermecki, Karam Aly, Sadaf Pour Iliaei, Reyam Ali, and the Friendship in Action organization