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Michel Ferrari

Michel Ferrari

phone: (416) 978-1070

Applied Psychology and Human Development

Centre for Applied Cognitive Science
Institute for Knowledge, Innovation and Technology

Research Overview

Dr. 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, and to the development of academic and professional expertise. He is also interested in the study of personal conscious experience, both in contemporary cognitive science and in the history of psychology.

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 is currently leading an international study of personal wisdom in Canada, the USA, Serbia, Ukraine, India, and China. His most recent pilot projects extend this study to the importance of wisdom to the successful acculturation of immigrants and refugees to Canada.

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, he has just completed a study of how young adults with Asperer's Syndrome in Pakistan and Canada understand their own wisdom and identity.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History

Dr. Michel Ferrari received his BA from the Liberal Arts College of Concordia University and his MA and PhD from the Universit du Qubec Montral (UQAM). He was a Postdoctoral Associate with Robert Sternberg at Yale University and a Research Associate with Michelene Chi and Kurt VanLehn at the Learning research and Development Center (LRDC) of the University of Pittsburgh.

Teaching Overview

Dr. Ferrari teaches developmental and educational psychology withing the Masters of Education Program, as well as the history of psychology, with a special focus on the history of the science of consciousness.

Representative Publications

Journal Articles

       Ferrari, M. (2011). Introduction to a special issue on the Liber de Sapiente. Intellectual History Review, 21(3), 257-265.

        Ferrari, M. (2011) What Can Neuroscience Bring to Education? Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (1), 31-36.

Ferrari, M, Kahn, A., Benayon, M. & Nero, J. (2011). Developing wisdom in Islam and Judaism: Two views of Sophia and Phronesis, Research in Human Development, 8(2), 128-148.

Ferrari, M. (2010). Historical emergence of a science of consciousness. History of the Human Sciences, 23, 1-14


      Fernando, C. & Ferrari, M. (in press/2013).  Handbook on Promoting Resilience in Children of War. New York, NY: Springer.

Ferrari, M. & Weststrate, N. (in press/2013). The Scientific Study of Personal Wisdom: From Contemplative Traditions to Neuroscience. Amsterdam, NL: Springer.

Taylor, R. & Ferrari, M. (Eds.) (2011), Epistemology and Science Education: Understanding the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Controversy. New York: Taylor & Francis. 

Ferrari, M. & Vuletic, L. (Eds.) (2010),  The Developmental Interplay between Mind, Brain, and Education: Essays in honor of Robbie Case. Amsterdam, NL: Springer. 

Ferrari, M. & Potworowski, G. (Ed.) (2008). Teaching for Wisdom. Amsterdam, NL: Springer.


Research Grants and Contracts

A cross-cultural study of personal wisdom
in China, India, Serbia, Ukraine, Canada and the USA
SSHRC International Opportunities Fund (Principal Investigator, with
(R.Liu, M. Ardelt, A. Baucal, R. Mahalingam & O. Ivanova Collaborators)

The Adolescent Brain: A web-Based Resource
KNAER (Michel Ferrari & Hazel McBride, Co-PIs)

Professional Activities

Dr. Ferrari coordinates the Masters of Education program (along with Hazel McBride and Joan Peskin).