Baylor and Harvard researchers team up in long-term global human development study

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Researchers from Harvard University and Baylor University launch the largest initiative of its kind to investigate the determinants of human flourishing.

“The Flourishing Global Study” is a $ 43.4 million, an annual five-year study of 240,000 people in 22 countries across a wide range of well-being criteria.

WACO, Texas, October 29, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Social and Biomedical Scientists Harvard University and Baylor University have joined forces to launch the largest initiative of its kind to study the factors that influence human flourishing. This $ 43.4 million The initiative – “The Flourishing Global Study” (GFS) – will involve a five-year study of 240,000 people, representing 22 countries around the world, with annual data collection on a wide range of health outcomes. -to be. This effort includes Gallup’s expertise in data collection and management, as well as stakeholder coordination and open science leadership from the Center for Open Science.

Researchers at Harvard University and Baylor University, in partnership with Gallup and the Center for Open Science, launched the Global Flourishing Study, the largest initiative of its kind to study the factors that influence human flourishing in the world. world.

What does it mean to live well? To be really healthy? To prosper? Researchers and clinicians have generally answered these questions by focusing on the presence or absence of various conditions: illness, family dysfunction, mental illness or criminal behavior. But such an approach to “deficits” says a lot about what makes a life well lived – what it means to thrive.

“The Global Flourishing Study is exactly the kind of work needed to deeply understand the interplay of key elements of the human experience that help us live well, be happy, and feel meaning and purpose,” said the co-director of the project, Dr. Tyler VanderWeele, Professor of Epidemiology John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb and Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, who has published prominent articles on the assessment of human development in leading scientific journals such as JAMA and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The design of longitudinal research will allow us to significantly advance scientific knowledge on the determinants of human development.”

Project Director Dr. Byron johnson, professor emeritus of social sciences and director of the Institute of Religious Studies at Baylor, also commented on the importance of data for a better understanding of the role of religion in a global context: “It is an extraordinary opportunity for the Baylor-Harvard team to conduct a panel study like this one. Since our sample size is so large, we will be able to examine all the major religions of the world and the role, if any, that they play in human flourishing. “

The panel will include people from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, The Philippines, Poland, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Ukraine, the UK, and the United States.

Over the next five plus years, the team will analyze longitudinal data on the social, psychological, spiritual, political, economic and health-related patterns, determinants, and components and causes of human flourishing. “There are several examples of probabilistic and nationally representative studies that follow the same respondents over time in a single country,” explained Dr. Rajesh Srinivasan, Global Research Director of Gallup World Poll, “but few have attempted to cover multiple countries. The scope of this project is unprecedented and likely to provide valuable information for global survey research using this type of methodology.”

The questionnaire design received extensive development and feedback, including months of work on question refinement, translation, cognitive testing, and piloting. This work is summarized in a detailed report from Gallup.

The research team will partner with the Center for Open Science to make data from the Global Flourishing Study an open-access resource for researchers, journalists, policymakers and educators around the world to probe in-depth information about what makes a flourishing life. Dr. David mellor, Policy Director of the Center for Open Science, commented: “The rigor and transparency applied to its analysis will increase confidence in the research that emerges from this work and reduce barriers to global and equitable access to this information. Do not be happy anymore to join these teams to support this process. “

Overall, the goal is to create a mature field of study around the science of human development, producing research results that will influence the direction of social and health policies. As CEO of Gallup Jim clifton noted, “The Global Flourishing Study is a methodological innovation that can really change the world – really change the way the world is run. VanderWeele echoed those sentiments: “It’s a great opportunity. We are excited to see what we, and other researchers around the world, will learn. “

Given its scale, the joint support of a consortium of donors was needed to make the Global Flourishing Study financially viable, including support from the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, Templeton World Charity Foundation, Fetzer Institute, of the Paul Foster Family Foundation. , the Wellbeing for Planet Earth Foundation, Well Being Trust and the David & Carol Myers Foundation.

Along with Johnson and VanderWeele, members of the Baylor-Harvard team include Drs. Matt Bradshaw, Merve Balkaya-Ince, Brendan case, Ying Chen, Alex fogleman, Sung Joon Jang, Philippe Jenkins, Thomas kidd, Matthew T. Lee, Jeff Levin, Tim lomas, Katelyn long, Van pham, Sarah Schnitker, John Ssozi, Robert woodberry, and George yancey.

On Baylor Institute of Religious Studies

Launched in 2004, Baylor The Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) initiates, supports and conducts research on religion, involving academics and projects covering the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, philosophy, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. Our mandate extends to all religions, everywhere and throughout history, and encompasses the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, our scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters demand and deserve.

On that of Harvard Human development program

Founded in 2016, the Human Flourishing Program at that of Harvard The Institute for Quantitative Social Science aims to study and promote human development and to develop systematic approaches to knowledge synthesis in all disciplines. The research of the program contributes to the broad question of how knowledge of the quantitative social sciences can be integrated with that of the humanities on issues of human flourishing and how best to achieve this synthesis of knowledge between disciplines. The program hopes to bring greater unity to the empirical social and human sciences. The program produces research publications and sponsors educational activities, such as courses, seminars and conferences, for the Harvard University community was all aimed at bringing together knowledge across disciplines and thinking about how knowledge from different disciplines could form a cohesive whole.

About Gallup

Gallup is a global analytics and consulting company with over 80 years of experience in measuring public opinion and human development. In the organization’s own research and in working partnerships with government, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, Gallup develops metrics to measure key indicators of global development and social responsibility over time.

About the Center for Open Science

Founded in 2013, COS is a non-profit culture change organization whose mission is to increase the openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by creating communities around open scientific practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free and open source software tools, including the Open Science Framework (OSF). Learn more about cos.io.

Contact: Alex fogleman, Ph.D., GFS Project Manager, Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University, Alex_Fogleman@baylor.edu

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1672165/GFS_baylor_University.jpg

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