MEET OUR LAB

Lab Director

     Michel Ferrari is interested in personal identity and how it develops in typical and atypical populations. This interest extends, in particular, to questions of personal wisdom, as an ideal aspiration of personal development. Dr. Ferrari is head of the Wisdom and Identity Lab, which explores personal wisdom in people of different ages (from children to the elderly) in different countries around the world. He led an international study of personal wisdom in Canada, the USA, Serbia, Ukraine, Iran, India, and China. His most recent project explores the relationship between wisdom and successful immigration to Canada among Iranian immigrants and Syrian Refugees. 

     In applied practice, Dr. Ferrari and his students are currently studying the experience of personal identity in clinical populations, specifically, individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism. With Aftab Khan, Andrew Goodwin and Harrison McNaughtan he has studied of how young adults with Asperger's Syndrome understand their own wisdom and identity. 

Dr. Michel Ferrari

Graduate Students

Melanie Munroe

Melanie Munroe, PhD Candidate

Program and Year:

PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 7th Year

 

Previous Education: 

MA in DPE at OISE

Hons BA in Psychology at Brock University

Research Interests:

Melanie's research focuses on how individuals cope with traumatic events and how to improve long-term outcomes and well-being in trauma survivors. Specifically, her work examines the relationship between self-compassion, coping, and meaning, and their contributions to positive psychological change following trauma, otherwise known as posttraumatic growth.

Project Contributions:

  • Exploring Pathways from Growth to Wisdom (Dissertation project)

  • Cognitive Factors of Coping with Adversity

  • COVID-19 Coping Study

  • Self-Motivation to Virtue Project

  • A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Mobile Intervention (Serene) for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: Promoting Adaptive Emotional Regulation and Wisdom

  • Network Meta-Analysis of Third-Wave Interventions for the Treatment of PTSD

 

Email:

melanie.munroe@mail.utoronto.ca

Fatemeh Alhosseini

Fatemeh Alhosseini, PhD Candidate

Program and Year:

PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 6th Year

Previous Education:

MA in DPE at OISE

BA in Clinical Psychology at the University of Alzahra

 

Research Interests:

Fatemeh is interested in exploring the socio-ecological roots of resilience among vulnerable populations. She is also interested in creative and participatory methodologies such as visual and art-based, narrative, and transformative methodology. 

Project Contributions:

  • Resilience Among Newcomer Students

 

Email:

fatemeh.alhosseini@mail.utoronto.ca

Andrew Goodwin

Andrew Goodwin, PhD Student

Program and Year:

PhD in School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP)

Previous Education: 

MA in SCCP at OISE

Hons. BSc in Psychology at UofT

Research Interests:

Andrew's current research interests focus on three main areas:

1) Investigating the underlying processes and critical contributory factors involved in wisdom and identity development in young adults with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.

2) Investigating how values interact with wisdom and identity development to facilitate optimal outcomes for life, self, and others.

3) Utilizing person-centred methodologies to better understand the lives, experiences, perspectives, and developmental processes of individuals with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Email:

andrew.goodwin@utoronto.ca

Juensung Kim

Juensung Kim, PhD Student

Program and Year:

PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 5th Year

 

Previous Education: 

MA in DPE at OISE

Hons BA in Cognitive Science and Philosophy at UofT

Research Interests:

Juensung's research focuses on investigating tools, practices, and experiences that facilitate intentional self-transformation, particularly the cultivation of wisdom and self-transcendence. Currently, he is conducting exploratory research on the influence of esoteric spiritual practices on wisdom, and completing his thesis on developing an empirical study of aspiration.

Project Contributions:

  • Supporting Aspirations in University Students

  • Awe, Wisdom, and Self-Deception Project
  • COVID-19 Coping Study
  • Self-Motivation to Virtue Project

 

Email:

juensung.kim@mail.utoronto.ca

ResearchGate:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Juensung-Kim/research

Nicole A. Sardella

Nicole A. Sardella, PhD Candidate

Program and Year:

PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 4th Year

 

Previous Education: 

MEd Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE/UofT

Hons. BA in Cognitive Science, Philosophy, Buddhism, Psychology, & Mental Health at UofT

Research Interests:

Nicole studies wisdom cultivation through the creative arts. Her research focuses on leveraging a novel arts-based method for the exploration of creative coping and well-being.

Project Contributions:

  • Scope and Frames of Wisdom Science

  • The Influence of Wisdom, Age, and Faith on Different Versions of Utopia

  • Wisdom - East/West

  • Network Meta-Analysis of Third-Wave Interventions for the Treatment of PTSD

  • A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Mobile Intervention (Serene) for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: Promoting Adaptive Emotional Regulation and Wisdom

  • Arts-Based Critical Episodes Method

 

Email:

nicole.sardella@mail.utoronto.ca

Linkedin:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicoleasardella

ResearchGate:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nicole-Sardella

Sadaf Pour Iliaei

Sadaf Pour Iliaei, PhD Student

Program and Year:

PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 2nd Year

 

Previous Education: 

MA in Developmental Psychology at Concordia University

MSc in Cognitive Psychology at the Institute for Cognitive Science Studies, Tehran, Iran

BA in English Translation at Allameh Tabataba'ee University, Tehran, Iran

Research Interests:

Sadaf is interested in studying wisdom from a cultural perspective. Currently, she is collaborating on a project investigating different ways of wise life management among Iranian immigrants and Syrian refugees.

Email:

sadaf.pouriliaei@mail.utoronto.ca

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie Morris, PhD Student

Program and Year:

PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 4th Year

 

Previous Education: 

MA in DPE at OISE

Hons. BA in Psychology from Trent University

Research Interests:

Stephanie's research interest focus on how interacting with different narratives influence the development of identity and our learning process.

Project Contributions:

  • Self-Motivation to Virtue Project

  • COVID-19 Coping Study

  • Educating for Wisdom Project

  • Essence of Wisdom Podcast

  • Esoteric Communities Research Project 

  • Teacher Wisdom Study

  • Projective Measure of Wisdom

Email:

stephanie.morris@mail.utoronto.ca

Zhe Feng

Zhe Feng, PhD Student

Program and Year:

PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 4th Year

 

Previous Education: 

MEd Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE

BSc in Psychology (Mental Health Studies) at UTSC

Research Interests:

Zhe is interested in exploring the processes in meaning making with a cross-cultural perspective. She is currently studying the implicit conceptualizations of the wisdom in well-known historical figures. Zhe is also investigating the psychological and aesthetic characteristics of Chinese language and poetry.

Project Contributions:

  • Scoping Review of Chinese Wisdom Exemplars

  • Intergenerational Storytelling in China

  • Ideal Types of the Wise Person

  • COVID-19 Coping Study

Email:

zhe.feng@mail.utoronto.ca

Linkedin:

linkedin.com/in/zhe-feng-78662333

Asma Shamim

Asma Shamim, PhD Student

Program and Year:

Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 1st Year

Previous Education: 

MA in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE) at OISE/UofT

MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE) at OISE/UofT

 

Research Interests:

Asma is interested in understanding the significance of the concepts of wisdom and identity in the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Email:

asma.shamim@mail.utoronto.ca

Jenny Jun

Jenny Jun, PhD Student

Program and Year:

Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 2nd Year

Previous Education: 

MSc Physiology, Hon BSc Life Sciences 

 

Research Interests:

Jenny is approaching the study of wisdom through the lens of Buddhist philosophy.  Her research focuses on the metaphors underlying various theoretical frameworks used by different research traditions and implicit conceptions of wisdom across cultures.

Project Contributions:

  • Cross-Cultural Wisdom

  • Self-Motivation to Virtue Project

  • Exploring Pathways from Growth to Wisdom

Email:

jenny.jun@mail.utoronto.ca

Kiana Habibagahi

Kiana Habibagahi, MEd Student

Program and Year:

MEd in Developmental Psychology And Education (DPE), 2nd Year 

 

Previous Education: 

Hon BSc in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at UofT

Research Interests:

Kiana is curious about the clinical potential of wisdom interventions, particularly in youth with suicidal ideation. She also hopes to learn more about mental health in the classroom and the affective side of wisdom. 

 

Project Contributions:

  • Scope and Frames of the Science of Wisdom

  • Wisdom and Life Management in Muslim Immigrants and Refugees

  • Educating for Wisdom 

  • Essence of Wisdom Podcast

  • Gandhi's Conception of Wisdom

  • Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI) Project

  • Rumi's Conception of Wisdom and its relation to ACT

  • Neuroscience of Wisdom

Email:

kiana.habibagahi@mail.utoronto.ca

Xiotong (Lorraine) Fu

Xiotong (Lorraine) Fu, MEd Student

Program and Year:

MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 1st Year

 

Previous Education: 

BA in Psychology & Education at Simon Fraser University

Research Interests:

Lorraine is interested in studying education values that interact with wisdom and identity from a cross-cultural perspective. As of this moment, she is exploring the different perceptions and attitudes toward higher educational attainment and how they relate to wisdom/social identity. 

 

Project Contributions:  

  • The Perceptions of Education Attainment by Different Generations in Mainland China 

Email:

xiaotong.fu@mail.utoronto.ca

LinkedIn:

linkedin.com/in/lorraine-fu-93742923b

Pouria Saffaran.jpg

Pouria Saffaran, MEd Student

Program and Year:

MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE), 1st Year

 

Previous Education: 

Hon BSc Psychology & Neuroscience at UofT

Research Interests:

Pouria is interested in investigating the impacts of PTSD and moral injury on individuals' fundamental beliefs about the world. 

Project Contributions:  

  • COVID-19 Coping Study

  • Wise Life Management Study

Email:

pouria.saffaran@mail.utoronto.ca

Lab Manager
Neeti Sharma

Neeti Sharma

Previous Education: 

Hon BSc Psychology Specialist at UofT

Research Interests:

Trauma, coping, relationships, and attachment

 

Project Contributions:

Neeti led the ego development coding team for the Posttraumatic Growth and Wisdom Study. She has also led the naive wisdom team for the Self-Motivation to Virtue Project and contributed to controllability coding for the Posttraumatic Growth and Wisdom Study.  

Email:

neeti.sharma@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Assistants
Harley Glassman

Harley Glassman

Previous Education: 

Hon BA Psychology in Neuroscience at York University

Research Interests:

Neuroscience of wisdom 

Project Contributions:

Harley devised a scoping review for organizing the neuroscience literature on wisdom following the PRISMA-ScR protocol. Additionally, he helped coauthor on a novel fMRI study on the role of the 2nd-person perspective on wisdom. Lastly, Harley have worked in the Educating for Wisdom group on investigating Dr. Igor Grossmann's wise reasoning model in the classroom.    

Email:

harleyg@my.yorku.ca

ResearchGate:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Harley-Glassman

Helen Chan

Helen Chan, MI Student

Program and Year: 

Master of Information (UX Design Concentration), 1st Year 

Previous Education: 

Hon BSc Psychology Specialist & Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health (BPMH) Minor at UofT

Research Interests:

Meaning making, self-compassion, and posttraumatic growth 

Project Contributions:

Helen is currently leading qualitative coding teams (ego development, wise reasoning) for the Posttraumatic Growth and Wisdom Study and the Cognition and Adversity Study. She has also led the naive wisdom team for the Self-Motivation to Virtue Project and contributed to self-compassion coding for the Posttraumatic Growth and Wisdom Study. Additionally, she helped co-author on Using Self-Compassion to Grow in the Face of Trauma: The Role of Positive Reframing and Problem-Focused Coping Strategies.   

Email:

helenwuisse.chan@mail.utoronto.ca

Linkedin:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-chan-1a8b2b178/

Volunteer Research Assistants
Mohamed Al-Refae

Mohamed Al-Refae, MA Student

Program and Year:

MA in Clinical and Counselling Psychology (CCP), 1st Year

 

Previous Education: 

MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE) at OISE UofT

Hon BSc in Psychology & Human Biology at UofT

Research Interests:

Mohamed is interested in exploring the role of coping, emotion regulation, and family functioning in shaping how racialized communities thrive in the face of adversity. He is particularly interested in developing trauma-informed and culturally responsive mobile interventions for the treatment of depressive and substance use disorders.

Project Contributions:  

  • A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Mobile Intervention (Serene) for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: Promoting Adaptive Emotional Regulation and Wisdom

  • Comparing the Efficacy of Third-Wave Psychotherapies and Interventions for PTSD in Adults: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis

  • Using Self-Compassion to Grow in the Face of Trauma: The Role of Positive Reframing and Problem-Focused Coping Strategies

  • Personal Growth and Well-being in the Time of COVID: An Explanatory Mixed-Methods Analysis

  • The Role of Self-Compassion and Presence of Meaning as Predictors of Posttraumatic Growth in Emerging Adults

  • The Influence of Wisdom, Age, and Faith on Different Versions of Utopia

  • The Wise Life Management Project

Email:

mohamed.al.refae@mail.utoronto.ca

Linkedin:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohamedalrefae 

ResearchGate:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mohamed_Al-Refae 

Yunjia (Jessica) Jia

Yunjia (Jessica) Jia, MEd Student

Program and Year: 

MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE) at OISE UofT, 1st Year

Previous Education: 

Hon BSc in Psychology (Mental Health Studies) at UTSC

Research Interests:

Yunjia was a research practicum student in Fall/Winter 2021-2022 and has completed her poster on biographical research on wisdom scholars. She also assisted with the scoping review of wisdom and research related to wisdom in Chinese. Currently, she is one of the main members of the project on scoping review of wisdom exemplars in China. 

Project Contributions:

  • Scoping Review of Chinese Wisdom Exemplars

Email:

jessica.jia@mail.utoronto.ca

Xuan Ma

Xuan Ma

Previous Education: 

MEd in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE) at OISE UofT

Hon BA in Translation at Jilin International Studies University

Research Interests:

Xuan is curious about the relationship between growth after adversity and positive outcomes. She also focuses on how educators can enhance children's cognitive perceptions from a neuroscience perspective.

Project Contributions:

  • Posttraumatic Growth and Wisdom Study

Email:

maxuan20192@gmail.com

Linkedin: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/xuan-ma-0b2628192

Adrian Gudino

Aldonna Stermecki

Alexandra Abramovich

Alvina Lai

Amber Iqbal

Anindita Bhowmik

Arjun Hari

Benjamin Chabot

Bonnie Luo

Cam Kilgour

Caroline Jee

Chevonne Li

Claire Lung

Da Na Lee

Daniella Ysabel Aguilar

Edith Krohmalnik

Esha Patel

Holly Chen

Isabel Bowman

Jane Tsai

Janet Li

Jenna Gu

Jinglei Chen

Karam Aly

Kathy Du

Kevin Tang

Klei Hoxha

Luke Pham

Mashal Noor-Ellahi

Milan Lazic

Mishel Alexandrovsky

Naomi Watson

Neve Ostry Young

Phillip Rajewicz

Priya Gupta

Rebecca Antonacci

Rakshita Kathuria

Ramizah Rafik

Rebecca Antonacci

Reyam Ali

Rose Talebi

Samar Baloch

Seoyoung Min

Scott Walker

Shreyashi Saha

Shuna Fu

Sydney Caskenette

Wilsy Choudhary

Xinyan Xiong

Vlad Glezin

Yaima González Menéndez

Yasemin Arikcan

Zahra Arabi-Ardakani

Zahira Tasabehji

Zhala Taghi-Zada

Lab Alumni

 

 

Harrison McNaughtan

Jessica Carmichael