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The Personality, Patterns, and Perceptions (Triple-P) Study funded by National Institute of Mental Health is a five year longitudinal study. This study examines symptoms of serious mental illness, associated with functional impairment, high health-care costs, and significant suffering. This project aims at 1) Obtaining direct, empirical account of symptom frequencies, severities, and co-occurrences through Experience Sampling Methodology 2) Propose and test several theoretical mechanisms for symptoms 3) To investigate the role of interpersonal perception processes in stressors and symptoms 4) To chart trajectories and transactions of symptom frequencies, severities, and contingencies. This research is tailored to address several significant problems and by advancing our understanding of the psychosocial factors that trigger symptoms, we hope to improve diagnosis and treatment in a way that helps alleviate the personal and societal costs associated with these debilitating symptoms.
As a subsidiary of the interdisciplinary Character Project funded by the John Templeton Foundation, this project creates a unique and exciting blend of theoretical and empirical work, discipline-specific and interdisciplinary thinking, exploratory and confirmatory strategies, and correlational and experimental studies on the nature of Character. If you are interested in the other aspects of the Character Project, please visit the general website at www.thecharacterproject.com
The research at Wake Forest is focusing on three main areas: 1) consistency of character, its internal causal structure, and its relationship to Personality in general, 2) the role of virtue in self- and other-knowledge, and 3) the role of identity emulation in virtuous behavior.
Although there have been several studies that establish the consistency of personality in general, there is currently some debate over the consistency (or even existence of) moral traits. This research hopes to demonstrate that there are moral character traits and they are indeed stable and predictable.
This project will also attempt to determine whether the virtuous lens through which we view ourselves is the same lens that other people use when they see us–that is, if I generally see myself as an altruistic and honest person, do the people around me also see me as altruistic and honest?
Thirdly, we attempt to determine the role that emulation of ideal others plays in virtuous behavior. We hypothesize that individuals have a personal internal paragon that they wish to emulate. This person can be a real-life political or religious figure, celebrity, or simply their interpretation of the archetypical “good X.” As people are presented with opportunities to be virtuous, they consult their representation of their paragons and choose the behavior that they believe most typifies that paragon.
The Growth Initiative seeks to understand how adverse life events can lead to positive behavioral and cognitive changes. We intend to uncover the scope of this growth, and the factors that limit growth. This research program is based at Wake Forest University and the University of Pennsylvania and made possible through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
Article in Wake Forest News featuring The Growth Initiative: http://news.wfu.edu/2012/10/23/overcoming-adversity/.