Track 2- Interventions
Elizabeth Krumrei Mancuso
Elizabeth (Liz) Krumrei Mancuso is Professor of Psychology at beautiful Seaver College, Pepperdine University. Her Ph.D. is in clinical psychology and she is licensed as a psychologist in California. Her areas of research interest include the psychology of religion, virtues, and other topics in the area of positive psychology. Liz has authored or co-authored 45 journal articles and two monographs. She has received four grants for the study of intellectual humility on the topics of measurement, leadership, public discourse, and now intervention. Liz teaches courses in psychotherapy, family therapy, interpersonal behavior, psychology of religion, and research methodology. She enjoys mentoring student researchers.
Cultivating Intellectual Humility Through an Interpersonal
Spiritual Struggles Intervention
Have you ever witnessed people in conflict about religious/spiritual matters? Have you known anyone who has felt hurt, offended, rejected, or misunderstood because of a religious or spiritual topic? The aim of this project is to develop, implement, and assess an intervention in which participants cultivate skills related to intellectual humility within the context of interpersonal spiritual struggles. Interpersonal spiritual struggles involve distress in an interpersonal relationship because of religion/spirituality. These situations typically involve religious disagreements or clashes in religious beliefs or values and can result in negative psychological and emotional consequences. This makes interpersonal spiritual struggles a crucial context in which to cultivate intellectual humility, as intellectual humility is both critical and challenging when it comes to resolving interpersonal spiritual struggles.
We believe intellectual humility can be cultivated in the context of interpersonal spiritual struggles in a way that is respectful of people’s religious/spiritual views and acknowledges the potential personal, interpersonal, and spiritual growth that can result from working through interpersonal spiritual struggles in intellectually humble ways.
We will create a multi-faceted, multimodal intervention that will target key mechanisms of change, including decreased levels of threat posed by the possibility of being wrong in one’s views, increased objectivity about beliefs relevant to the interpersonal spiritual struggle, increased perspective-taking skills, bolstered perceptions of interpersonal security, and efforts to make intellectual humility dispositions relevant to the specific interpersonal spiritual struggle at hand.
This work will deepen our understanding of how intellectual humility can be cultivated within the domain of religion/spirituality, whether the results hold across different countries, and what types of participant characteristics might increase or decrease the effectiveness of the intellectual humility intervention.
Gustavo Cevolani is Associate Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca in Italy, where he directs the MInD (Models, Inferences, and Decisions) research group. His primary research interests lie at the intersection of general philosophy of science, formal epistemology, and cognitive science, with a focus on analyzing rational decision-making in scientific and everyday contexts. Over the past
fifteen years, he has extensively published books and papers on topics such as truth approximation, cognitive progress, scientific realism, Bayesian confirmation theory, and methodological issues in the social, behavioral, and cognitive sciences. In more recent years, Professor Cevolani is leading applied research projects, funded by local and national institutions, aiming at boosting expert reasoning and communication, particularly within healthcare and forensic domains. Currently, Professor Cevolani serves as President of the Italian Association of Cognitive Sciences (AISC) for the period of 2023-2025.
IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca
Boosting intellectual humility to improve science
communication in healthcare
Science communicators are fundamental in bridging the gap between the most up-to-date research and the general public's Understanding.
Research on science communication has often focused on the cognitive biases that hinder audience understanding and acceptance of scientific messages. While recent proposals emphasize the dialogic nature of communication, little attention has been given to communicators' limitations. Failure to recognize these limitations can result in biased representations of the audience and their needs. This project aims to improve science communication in healthcare contexts by exploring two phenomena that could reduce biased reasoning in experts and non-experts: Intellectual Humility and the Illusion of Understanding. Intellectual humility refers to acknowledging one's intellectual limitations, and it can facilitate open dialogue between experts and non-experts. Additionally, it can help non-experts to be more receptive to new ideas and gain a deeper understanding of scientific concepts. The illusion of Understanding occurs when individuals overestimate their comprehension of a subject. It is observed, for instance, in patients who overestimate their understanding of medical practices or even in health professionals who fail to assess the opinions and attitudes of their patients properly. As a result, it can hinder effective communication in expert-non-expert interactions, where accurate information, reassurance, and support are crucial for optimal disease management and decision-making.
This project explores how interventions targeting the Illusion of Understanding can effectively promote virtuous Intellectual Humility, using randomized controlled trials employing debiasing interventions. We choose the healthcare domain as a case study due to the importance of doctor-patient communication and its potential impact on healthcare outcomes and policies. The expected results will contribute both to the research on intellectual humility, providing evidence-based strategies to promote virtuous intellectual humility in science communication, and to improving patient-doctor relations and health information campaigns.
Dr. Jesse Owen is a Professor in the Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Denver. His research focuses on psychotherapy processes and outcomes with a specific focus on therapists’ multicultural orientation, therapist expertise, practice-research networks. Jesse is also the Senior Research Director at SonderMind and OrgVitals as well as the Research Director at Celestheath with all three companies using large scale data to solve real-world problems. He is also the Editor of the journal Psychotherapy.
University of Denver
Intellectual Humility to Improve Meta-Cognitve Required in Mulitcultural Training
Multicultural training is at a crossroad, continue the status quo, which has largely been unsuccessful for changing racial/ethnic disparities in therapy outcomes, or innovate. In this RFP, we are choosing to innovate by bringing together an interdisciplinary team of intellectual humility (IH) researchers, computer scientists, psychometricians, counseling/clinical psychologists our team is poised conduct a comprehensive project to ideally improve how multicultural training is done. We are proposing that IH is an ideal framework for training the acquisition of knowledge regarding therapists’ multicultural orientation (i.e., cultural humility, cultural opportunities, cultural comfort; MCO). More specifically, our MCO-IH training will include five modules on core aspects of the MCO and IH. Our project has four phases. In phase I, we will refine our MCO-IH material, record the trainings, and integrate the material in to Lyssn (an on-line platform that has a strong track record in the machine learning space within psychotherapy and training). We will get initial feedback from key stakeholders. In phase II, we will conduct a pilot study and start to develop an IH-task based measure that is domain specific to psychotherapy. In phase III, we will conduct a Randomized Clinical Trial with therapists from the SonderMind practice-research network. This will allow us to have outcomes at the therapist level (e.g., changes in IH or MCO approach) as well as connect the MCO-IH training outcomes to client therapy outcomes (e.g., reducing racial/ethnic disparities in outcomes). In phase IV, we will conduct a mixed method study to evaluate the utility of the training with the therapists from the RCT. We will have several publications and presentations and new MCO-IH training materials. Ultimately, we hope that this project can empower therapists through a MCO-IH lens, which hopefully enhances therapy outcomes.
Intellectual Humility and Cooperation Across Political Divides
Keith Welker is a Senior Research Scientist at the Constructive Dialogue Institute (CDI). His role at CDI is to lead research aimed at developing research-based tools and resources to help people have better conversations across differences. His work often focuses on conducting data analysis, user experience research, survey research, program evaluation, and randomized controlled trials. Before coming to CDI, he was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he conducted research on relationships and aggression and taught courses on personality, statistics, and social psychology. He also earned a PhD in Social Psychology from Wayne State University and received post-doctoral training at the University of Oregon and the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Constructive Dialogue Institute
A Holistic Approach To Promoting Intellectual Humility Within Higher Education: Optimizing Efficacy
In recent decades, the United States has experienced growing divisions over values, political views, and cultural norms. A thriving society depends on its citizens being equipped to counteract these concerning societal trends. College may be a setting where it is difficult yet very important to be intellectually humble. The proposed project builds on an existing intervention which has been shown to be effective at improving intellectual humility among college students in a randomized controlled trial. The project team has expanded this efficacious intervention to include a socio-cultural component, where students’ peers and faculty receive the intellectual humility intervention alongside the students themselves. Further, faculty are provided training in how to create classrooms that promote intellectual humility.
The proposed research aims to test the efficacy of the expanded intervention in a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial with students recruited from general education classes in 4 universities. We hypothesize that Perspectives will increase intellectual humility. Moreover, the proposed research will advance intellectual humility science by examining secondary outcomes as well as mediators and moderators of intervention efficacy. We will explore the mediating pathways of how Perspectives improves intellectual humility by examining the roles of intrapersonal and interpersonal factors such as awareness of bias, overconfidence, receptiveness to opposing views, communication with members of political outgroups, and affective polarization. In terms of moderators, we expect that the intervention will be most impactful for students whose peers and faculty are high in intellectual humility and who have an interdependent (rather than individualistic) self-construal. In contrast, students who are motivated to achieve status in their peer groups will benefit less from the intervention. Finally, we will conduct qualitative interviews with students and faculty who participate in the intervention to solicit input about how to make the intervention more effective and appealing in a college setting.
Meira Levinson is Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society at Harvard Graduate School of Education. A normative political philosopher with a long history of research and practice in civic education, she is currently working to start a global field of educational ethics, modeled in some ways after bioethics, that is philosophically rigorous, disciplinarily and experientially inclusive, and both relevant to and informed by educational policy and practice. Materials and resources related to this initiative can be found at justiceinschools.org.
Much of Meira’s work has focused on how to foster nuanced conversations about complex civic and ethical dilemmas across lines of difference. Her books in this area include Democratic Discord in Schools: Cases and Commentaries in Educational Ethics (2019, with Jacob Fay), Dilemmas of Educational Ethics: Cases and Commentaries (2016, with Jacob Fay), Making Civics Count (2012, with David Campbell and Frederick Hess), No Citizen Left Behind (2012), and two forthcoming co-edited books of cases and conversations on Civic Contestation in Global Education and Educational Equity in a Global Context.
She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Yale and a D.Phil. in politics from Nuffield College, Oxford University.
Can Normative Case Study Engagement Increase Parents' Virtuous Intellectual Humility
Interpersonal trust and democratic relationships among K-12 parents and between parents and school and district leaders have broken down in school districts around the country. These breakdowns threaten to harm educational policy and practice and civic health. Increasing parents’ virtuous intellectual humility (IH) in these settings could have significant beneficial effects. We ask: What intervention(s) can help increase K-12 parents’ education-specific intellectual humility when reflecting upon or discussing politically contested educational policies and practices with others?
We hypothesize that both synchronous, small-group normative case study (NCS) discussions and asynchronous, individually-prompted reflections about a digital NCS (Briefcase) may be promising interventions for increasing parents’ virtuous IH under these conditions of political contestation. NCS are empirically researched accounts of everyday ethical dilemmas in educational policy and practice. Each NCS includes sympathetic, authentic, and deeply researched depictions of multiple stakeholders who hold conflicting perspectives or favor competing courses of action. In synchronous NCS discussions, a facilitator helps small groups deliberate about complex ethical and civic challenges across lines of difference. BriefCase versions of NCS are digital cases designed for asynchronous, individual engagement. They include multimedia elements and closed- and open-ended prompts for reflection.
We pose three research questions: RQ1. Do the BriefCase and NCS discussion have additive effects? RQ2: Do pre-existing levels of general IH moderate the effects of the interventions on issue-specific IH? RQ3: Do the interventions have different effects for individuals depending on whether or not their views align with those of their communities?
We will conduct two empirical studies. The first uses experimental methods in an online study of K-12 parents examining the asynchronous BriefCase. The second blends experimental and quasi-experimental methods to further test the BriefCase and evaluate the synchronous NCS discussions in the context of real community deliberations with K-12 parents.
Professor Soroush Vosoughi leads the Minds, Machine, and Society group at Dartmouth. The group explores the nuances of large language models (LLMs), focusing particularly on mitigating their anti-social tendencies to foster a more responsible and transparent AI technology. His research also delves into the sphere of computational social science, creating tools that offer nuanced perspectives on various social systems and issues. Recently, their research has ventured into integrating visual data with language models, aspiring to craft a more comprehensive representation of the extensive data available, thereby inching closer to a nuanced understanding of human cognition. Prof. Vosoughi is a recipient of the Google Research Scholar Award in 2022 and an Amazon Research Award in 2019, and his work has earned several Best Paper awards and nominations, including the Outstanding Paper Award at AAAI 2021. Before joining Dartmouth, Prof. Vosoughi was a postdoctoral associate at MIT and a fellow and later an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D., MSc, and BSc from MIT in 2015, 2010, and 2008.
Fostering Intellectual Humility in Online Public Discourse
In the contemporary landscape of social media, conditions have been created that often stifle our “virtuous selves,” propelling us into the spread of misinformation, the reinforcement of echo chambers, and harboring negativity towards difference. The capabilities of generative language models, like ChatGPT, present opportunities for transformative research but also risk exacerbating these conditions. This proposal explores the importance of intellectual humility, the recognition of one’s own knowledge limits, and appreciation of others’ intellectual strengths in mitigating these issues and fostering productive discourse online.
Intellectual humility has been linked to higher scrutiny of misinformation, less political bias, and reduced affective polarization, implying its vital role in promoting a less fragmented and nuanced public discourse. Moreover, it has been recognized as a crucial precondition for self-improvement, productive collaborations across divides, and consensus-building in scientific controversies. Our objective is to design and develop computational methods that foster intellectual humility within online discourse spaces. We propose exploring the potential of well-designed exposure to diverse viewpoints to increase intellectual humility. The theory underpinning this is that exposure to varied ideas and people can challenge our knowledge limits and beliefs. “You-are-here” maps can make users aware of their current belief spaces and those they don’t occupy, thereby promoting diverse encounters and intellectual humility.
Our project seeks to develop interventions promoting intellectual humility in real-world contexts. We aim to investigate the potential of interventions prompting self-reflection and awareness of one’s position in the online religious discourse landscape to change belief-related outcomes and behavior on social media. We also hypothesize the lasting impacts of such an intervention and the correlations between intellectual humility and other belief and behavior-related outcomes before and after the intervention. This proposal is poised to illuminate the potential of intellectual humility as a transformative force for enhancing discourse in online spaces.