Chris Chartier

Chris Chartier is an associate professor of psychology at Ashland University.

ASHLAND – The John Templeton Foundation (JTF) has awarded Chris Chartier, associate professor of psychology at Ashland University, a grant of nearly $1 million for his project “Examining the Big Questions in Big Samples: Using the Psychological Science Accelerator to Investigate JTF Priorities.”

The three-year grant, scheduled to begin July 2022, will fund four international studies and provide direct funds for three new personnel positions. The total award is approximately $975,000.

The goal of the project is for psychological science to gain the capability to more comprehensively examine data, which will in turn result in a better understanding of human beings globally.

An ongoing problem for psychologists has been the data collected in most studies only surveys a small slice of the human population, a typical group of participants that Chartier wittily labels as WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich and Democratic.

Chartier’s innovation from a couple of years ago, the Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA), will play a critical role in achieving more diverse samples of data. The PSA has already developed into a multi-national network of 1,400 research laboratories from across 70 countries.

With this grant and the use of the PSA, the group will select and carry out four global studies that investigate questions related to JTF’s strategic priorities. Though the exact subject matter is still to be determined, topic areas could include health, religion, spirituality, intellectual humility and virtue development.

For each study, data will be collected from both standard university WEIRD samples and from more representative community samples, which will result in a massive global dataset and findings that are more applicable to a broader population.

“These results will allow psychologists to test whether our research is truly achieving the goal of psychological science and providing reliable answers to big questions,” Chartier said.

The JTF serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. In order to catalyze such discoveries, the JTF provides grants for independent research that advances the mission of its foundation.

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