Searching for Explanations: How the Internet Inflates Estimates of Internal Knowledge

How often are you sitting at the dinner table, having a conversation about a unique and thought provoking topic, when someone sitting at the table (possibly you) pulls out his or her phone to do some on-the-fly research? Researchers Matthew Fisher, Mariel K. Goddu, and Frank C. Keil of Yale University explore how having the data of the internet always present at our fingertips inflates what we believe that we know. CLICK HERE to read more about this project and […]

Why Religion?

Why do we believe in supernatural beings and hold religious beliefs? Will our religious beliefs disappear given the rise of atheism around the world? Thrive Center director, Dr. Justin Barrett, contributes to this discussion through an article published by the BBC, and a podcast by “An InExact Science“. BBC – Will religion ever disappear?: An InExact Science – Close Encounters of the Religious Kind:

Dr. Justin L. Barrett Lectures in Cambridge and Moscow


Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development, Dr. Justin L. Barrett, gave lectures last week on the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) in Cambridge, UK, and in Moscow, Russia. This was Dr. Barrett’s second trip to the United Kingdom this year, the first being in July. Last week, Barrett spoke to the Hills Road Sixth Form school and the Faraday Institute at Cambridge before traveling to Moscow, Russia. Dr. Barrett spoke about his research on CSR across three days […]

Dr. Justin Barrett Interviewed for “The Table”

Thrive Center Director, Dr. Justin Barrett was interviewed for “The Table,” the blog for Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought. Dr. Barrett speaks about a number of topics studied at the Thrive Center, including cognitive development, spiritual wellbeing, social relationships, and humility. To watch Dr. Barrett’s interview and read the transcript, visit the article on “The Table” by CLICKING HERE. Link:

Known Unknowns or: How we learned to stop worrying about uncertainty and love intellectual humility

Known Unknowns or:  How we learned to stop worrying about uncertainty and love intellectual humility By Peter L. Samuelson, Fuller School of Psychology, Ian M. Church, St. Louis University, Post-doctoral researchers in the Science of Intellectual Humility Project funded by the John Templeton Foundation. In two recent articles on the NY Times opinion pages, the term “intellectual humility” has played a central role.  As “leading experts” on intellectual humility (we are researchers on a grant from the John […]

Religion in China: Is it Natural? Thrive Unveils Preliminary Findings at Hong Kong Conference

Incense sticks in taoist temple in Hong Kong

On Wednesday, April 23, researchers from the Thrive Center for Human Development, Boston University, and Chinese Academy of Sciences, among other institutions, will present initial findings from their research project “Is Religion Natural? The Chinese Challenge” at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. “Although there is extensive research to suggest that human religiosity may be a natural byproductof human instincts, very little research has been done with participants drawn from predominantly secular environments,” said Thrive Center director and Chinese Challenge principle […]

Call for Proposals: Association for Moral Education Conference

The Association for Moral Education (AME) has announced a call for proposals for their 2014 conference here in Pasadena, California. The Thrive Center for Human Development and Thrive post-doc Peter Samuelson will be hosting the conference which will take place at the Pasadena Westin Hotel from November 6-8th, 2014. The topic for the conference is “Thriving Individuals / Thriving Communities: The Role of Moral Education in Human Flourishing. If you are interested in submitting a paper, poster, or a symposium […]

Thrive Students Presentation Opportunity – Spring Quarter, 2014

Thrive Students, There are two chances left for you to present your research at a Thrive Reflectorium. The Reflectorium is an informal meeting that functions as an awesome place for students and staff to get feedback on the research they are working on. Whether it be preparing for a dissertation proposal or practicing for an upcoming conference, the Reflectorium is a great place to work out the last kinks in the presentation and get incredible feedback from faculty and staff […]

Intellectual Humility & Children: Do children know what they think they know?

Does a young boy really know how his dad’s lawnmower works if he says that he does? Does a little girl know that the Tooth Fairy is really going to come to replace her incisor for a dollar bill with no more evidence beyond that her parents told her so? Intellectual humility, the understanding that you do not know everything, is a virtue that is the topic of research driving the John Templeton Foundation (JTF) funded, The Science of Intellectual […]

Is World of Warcraft a Religion?

It is very unlikely that the lucky children who got to open an Atari 2600 video game console on Christmas in 1977 (or their parents) had a clue that the question of whether video games could become a religion would be a legitimate one some day. In our modern world, children as young as three or four learn to operate computers (cell phones and tablets) that are more powerful than those the astronauts used in the Apollo spacecraft. Dr. Ryan […]