About the Intellectual Humility Team

The Thrive Center’s Intellectual Humility project team is made up of seven faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate student researchers, and staff. Our Pasadena-based team also works closely with researchers from 19 institutions all over the United States and the United Kingdom to conduct our research.

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Justin Barrett, PhD

Thrive Center Director
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Dr. Barrett is the Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development, Thrive Professor of Developmental Science, and Professor of Psychology. He earned his PhD in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at Cornell University, and a BA in Psychology from Calvin College. Prior to coming to Fuller, Barrett taught for five years in Oxford University’s School of Anthropology, and is best known for his research on religion.
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Ian M. Church, PhD

Post Doctoral Research Fellow
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I finished my PhD in the St Andrews-Stirling Joint Programme in Philosophy in 2012. My dissertation focused on virtue epistemology and the analysis of knowledge, and my current work centers on two inter-related research clusters in epistemology and philosophy of science. The first research-cluster focuses on motivating and developing new (virtue-theoretic), non-reductive models of knowledge and includes projects on the Gettier Problem, the nature of luck, fallibilism, the interface between epistemology and ethics, and the epistemic import of peer disagreement. The second research cluster focuses on the methodologies and implications of psychology and cognitive science and includes projects on the relationship between attachments strategies (ambivalent, avoidant, etc.) and epistemic strategies (dogmatic, skeptical, etc.), the philosophy of psychology (particularly regarding moral development), and the epistemic implications of cognitive science. Prior to my PhD, I did my MLitt in philosophy in the St Andrews-Stirling Joint Programme and my BA in philosophy and rhetoric & composition English at Ball State University. My hobbies include chess, travel, literature, ichthyology, and Thomas the Tank Engine (thanks to my kids).My wife and I have been married for 8 years and have three children.I am the Philosophy Research Fellow for “The Science of Intellectual Humility” project at the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and “The Philosophy and Theology of Intellectual Humility” project at Saint Louis University. I am deeply interested in these projects because they tie together and draw from my research interests in epistemology and philosophy of science. From exploring the nature of intellectual virtues, to investigating the import of disagreement, to informing and being informed by psychology and cognitive science, I can happily say, to quote The Sound of Music, that “these are a few of my favorite things!”
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Peter Saumelson, PhD

Post Doctoral Research Fellow
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My name is Peter Samuelson. I am the psychology post-doctoral researcher on the Science of Intellectual Humility project. I came to this project in an interesting, and slightly round-about, way. I am a second-career psychologist, having spent the first half of my working life as a parish pastor in the Lutheran (ELCA) church. I became curious about how faith and morals are developed in children and went into a PhD program in Educational Psychology at Georgia State University to try to find out. After doing some adjunct teaching subsequent to getting my PhD, I began to look for a job that might integrate my expertise in religion with my expertise in psychology. The Science of Intellectual Humility project was just the ticket. Intellectual humility is a key component, if not a necessary condition, for a fully developed faith, and a robust moral life. Of course, intellectual humility has broad application beyond faith and morals. As a developmental psychologist, I am interested in how intellectual humility functions in childhood, and how we might develop traits like curiosity, wonder and love of learning which seem to be critical parts of intellectual humility. I lead a team of researchers to study issues such as how children come to trust informants that will hopefully help us better teach children and help us to foster intellectual virtues such as intellectual humility.
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Thomas Paulus, MA

Graduate Research Assistant
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Right now I am a father, a husband and a student of clinical psychology and theology. I spend most of my time changing diapers, going to class, seeing clients for therapy, and researching intellectual humility. I could go on, but I am a picture of humility so I will stop there. I am a research assistant on this project, which means that I get to take notes at meetings, sort through data, run analyses, help with brainstorming, and even research design. Peter and Ian have a very egalitarian style which means that I get to have a lot more input than an RA might normally have, which is really nice for me and makes our meetings really enjoyable.
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Matthew Jarvinen, MA

Graduate Research Assistant
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Matthew Jarvinen is a PhD student working as a research assistant on the Intellectual Humility project. He was attracted to this particular project due to an interest in character strengths, virtues, and human thriving. Although he has his hands in many of the projects that the Intellectual Humility team is involved in, he is particularly interested in researching the emotional dynamics related to Intellectual Humility, including how one's emotion regulation capacities influence one's ability to be cognitively open to an other. When not working with the team, Matthew spends his time studying neuroscience at UCLA, providing psychotherapy services at Fuller Psychological & Family Services, and enjoying his 5-month-old daughter with his wife.
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Rebecca Dorsey Sok, MA

Thrive Center Manager
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Rebecca Sok is the Manager of the Thrive Center for Human Development. She holds an MA in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA and a BA in Organizational Communication from George Fox University. Sok manages the day-to-day logistics and communications pertaining to the center’s projects and activities.
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Julia Stewart, MA

Project Coordinator
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I am the Project Coordinator for the Science of Intellectual Humility project. So, that basically means I manage the grant. I look at the budget to make sure we don’t spend outside our parameters. I help coordinate our events like virtual workshops and research–wide conferences. And if someone needs an opinion about their latest draft presentation or article, I’m the resident layperson ready with honest feedback.My interest in the project was peaked when I read that they would be looking into development related to children. I am the mother of a small child and am very interested in all things related to helping her grow to be a thriving human being. Since thriving is not only the name but the ultimate goal of the research center, it was a perfect match for me.Before coming to the project, I worked as an urban planner. This gave me great exposure to all aspects of grants which gave me the skills from which I draw daily in my role on the project. We have a fantastic team and I am tremendously grateful to be able to contribute to such a meaningful body of work.