Human Development

Science of Intellectual Humility

1/13/16 in Human Development

What does it mean to be intellectually humble and how can intellectual humility be encouraged? This question is the subject of the Thrive Center’s John Templeton Foundation funded project, “The Science of Intellectual Humility,” currently in the midst of its run from 2012-2015. At present, two postdoctoral researchers and two doctoral student researchers are examining specific questions surrounding intellectual humility.

Is Religion Natural? The Chinese Challenge

1/13/16 in Human Development

As part of “The Chinese Challenge” project, funded by TWCF and led by Dr. Justin Barrett and Dr. Ryan Hornbeck in collaboration with Dr. Liqi Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, we have examined a variety of topics related to religion and cognition among the people of China. These topics range from the study of supernatural beings in ancient Chinese texts to the study of natural cognition in children.

Relational Capacity and Ministry Performance: Consequence of the Evolved Social Brain

3/1/16 in Human Development

Ministry staff members often exceed the relational capacity limit, potentially rendering them ineffective ministers. They deliberately try to add more relationships and view it as their obligation to do so. Volunteers are more likely to be within the relational limit. Perhaps this difference accounts for Barrett’s analyses of field data that showed adding volunteers but not staff to an area increased ministry outcomes. We will examine field staff and volunteers’ relational network sizes, ministry outcomes, and their life and ministry satisfaction from three large ministries.

Achievement Orientation, Concept of God and Emotional Health in Elite Athletes

1/13/16 in Human Development

There is a wealth of knowledge in the sports psychology literature on the many different factors that contribute to enhancing performance. However, very little attention has been focused on the the spiritual and emotional development within these high-pressured sporting contexts. This study will utilize a group of elite athletes to examine the link between achievement orientations (thriving orientation vs performance based orientation) and emotional health as well as explore how one’s view of God and spirituality interact with these links.

Evolutionary Psychology and Christian Views on Human Thriving

3/8/16 in Human Development

Even for Christians open to evolutionary creation, evolutionary psychology is still regarded with anything from suspicion to outright hostility. With its emphasis on humans as gene-vehicles or reproductive machines, surely the underlying teleology of evolutionary psychology is antithetical to Christianity, right? Perhaps not. Because Christian psychologists have largely stayed away from evolutionary psychology, the metaphysical and ethical assumptions of its non-theist practitioners have tended to become passively accepted and conflated with the genuine scientific insights of this area of science. Evolutionary psychology need not be practiced in a way hostile to theism or Christianity, but holds intellectual and methodological resources that may invigorate Christian psychology around some of humanity’s biggest questions. We will demonstrate the fruitfulness of placing evolutionary psychology and Christian theological anthropology into direct conversation by considering the question: What is human thriving?

Spiritual Strivings, Goal Satisfaction, Virtue, and Well-Being

1/13/16 in Human Development

This project examines the dynamics of goal pursuit across time as well as the well-being effects of goal content in diverse contexts. A major focus of this project is utilizing cutting-edge statistical methodologies (e.g., Multi-level SEM) to examine personality dynamics.

Understanding the Effects of Goal Sanctification and Prayer on the Virtues of Gratitude, Generosity, and Thrift

1/13/16 in Human Development

Several studies are being conducted to broadly understand how prayer and/or sanctification of activities affect the development of three virtues: gratitude, generosity, and thrift. In particular, we are examining how gratitude and thrift promote generosity as assessed by actual financial donations of participant payment.

Perfectionism Intervention Study

1/13/16 in Human Development

This study examines the efficacy of a personalized feedback intervention to treat individuals with maladaptive perfectionism. Participants in this study are Asian international students, as maladaptive perfectionism is prevalent among this population. Various mental health issues are examined in this study.

School-based Depression Screening and Prevention Intervention

1/13/16 in Human Development

Ethnic minority youths are at greater risk of unmet mental health needs compared to their Non-Hispanic White counterparts. Can universal depression screening reduce observed racial/ethnic disparities in mental health service referral and utilization? Can school-based mindfulness intervention promote academic and social emotional functioning among ethnic minority youths?

Business as Mission (BAM): Freedom Business among Trafficked Women

1/13/16 in Human Development

This is a case study of Freeset, a free trade business located in Kolkata that offers alternative employment to women who were forced into prostitution by trafficking or poverty.

Neuropsychological and Virtual Classroom Performance in Children with Learning and Attention Problems Who Received Working Memory Training

1/13/16 in Human Development

In collaboration with Dr. Sarah Marion, PhD, we are continuing the investigation of the impact of Cogmed, a computerized, interactive working memory training program. We are interested in whether or not working memory training can improve neurocognitive and classroom behavior for children with emerging learning and attention difficulties.

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