We are now hiring to fill a research position of a project manager in Psychology at the University of Waterloo, located about 1 hr from Toronto. Successful candidates will work closely with Dr. Igor Grossmann to coordinate and initiate new research on a wide range of topics represented in the Wisdom and Culture Lab (uwaterloo.ca/wisdom-and-culture-lab).
Applicants for the full-time project manager position should have an undergraduate degree in Psychology or related field, with a desire to gain valuable research experience before applying to graduate school. The position has a flexible timeline, with preference for a 2-year commitment. A competitive salary, including benefits, will be provided. The position will involve coordination of grant-funded research studies, including participant recruitment and data collection and management. The successful applicant will benefit from unique opportunities to participate and train in experimental, survey, and big data research methods within an academic setting and to gain exposure to a community population from the greater Waterloo area. Preferred qualifications include an excellent academic record, strong interpersonal, leadership, writing, and organizational skills, programing skills (R, Python), background in psychophysiology, and experience with data management and analyses.
Specific instructions: please submit a cover-letter, 2-3 page biographic information containing relevant research experience and career goals, two best writing samples, and contact info of 3 referees to email@example.com, specifying the position you apply for in the subject line.
Description of the target project: Open-mindedness, humility, and empathy are key character strengths for the virtue of wisdom. In lay and scholarly views, these character strengths develop by mastering adversity, yet little work has explored how adverse experiences impact the growth in these wisdom-related qualities. Instead, most work has relied on cross-sectional retrospective observations or single-shot observations in the lab 11. This is noteworthy, as the expression of wisdom-related character strengths varies substantially across situations.
We aim to identify growth vs. decline/stagnation trajectories promoting the development of wisdom-related character strengths. First, we aim to explore how different forms of adversity (e.g., daily stressors vs. traumatic experiences) impact growth in open-mindedness, humility, and empathy. Second, we propose that self-distanced reflection, defined as the view of the self from a “fly on the wall” perspective, promotes growth in wisdom-related character strengths. In contrast, self-immersed reflection, defined as an exclusive focus on reactions to one’s experiences (incl. one’s immediate feelings), leads to assimilation of the adverse experience without subsequent growth in wisdom-related character strengths. Our hypothesis draws from prior experimental research by others and ourselves showing that self-immersion makes one narrow-focused in thinking, whereas self-distance attenuates distress, and facilitates expression of open-mindedness, humility, and empathy.
We will employ a wide range of methods, employing prospective data-intensive longitudinal surveys. Our study concerns a 12-month longitudinal survey, measuring changes in expression of wisdom-related character strengths across 4 waves of 2 weeks daily diaries. As assessment tools, we will use established trait- and state-level measures of open-mindedness, humility, and empathy, as well as content-analyses of spontaneous expression of these character strengths in stream-of-thought narratives.
Specific tasks for project manager involved in the project: Project manager will have knowledge in content analytic procedures, survey design, and set-up of online platforms. The project manager will be a central element of our team, helping to design and plan the studies, develop procedures, measures, and coding systems, conduct experiments, perform pre-processing of quantitative data, and help with knowledge mobilization by promoting and managing project-related social media (twitter, Facebook, lab blog posts).