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Lab Spotlight: Wisdom & Identity Lab

APHD Wisdom and Identity Lab

Lab Site:

Lab Members:


  • Dr. Michel Ferrari

Doctoral Students:

  • Jessica Carmichael (7th Year, SCCP)
  • Melanie Munroe (6th Year, DPE) 
  • Fatemeh Alhosseini (5th Year, DPE)
  • Andrew Goodwin (4th Year, SCCP)
  • Juensung Kim (4th Year, DPE)
  • Nicole A. Sardella (3rd Year, DPE)
  • Sadaf Pour Iliaei (3rd Year, DPE)
  • Stephanie Morris (2nd Year, DPE)
  • Zhe Feng (2nd Year, DPE)
  • Shamina Shaheen (1st Year, DPE)

Master's Student:

  • Asma Shamim (1st Year, DPE MA)


What research is being done at the Wisdom and Identity Lab?

Scope and Frames of the Science of Wisdom

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.

Self-Motivation to Virtue Project

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.

Wisdom and Life Management in Muslim Immigrants and Refugees

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.