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▷ Researchers from Baylor and Harvard Universities are working together on a …

29.10.2021 – 22:59

Baylor University

Waco, Texas (ots/PRNewswire)

The researchers are starting the largest initiative of its kind to investigate which determinants ensure an optimally lived life.

The Global Flourishing Study is a $ 43.4 million, five-year annual study involving 240,000 participants in 22 countries that covers a wide range of well-being factors.

Social scientists and biomedical scientists from Harvard University and Baylor University have teamed up to launch the largest initiative of its kind to study the factors that affect human wellbeing. This $ 43.4 million initiative – The Global Flourishing Study (GFS) – is a five-year study involving 240,000 people from 22 countries around the world, providing annual data on a wide range of factors that contribute to well-being , be collected. Gallup’s expertise in data collection and management as well as expertise in coordinating participants and in the “Open Science” area of ​​the Center for Open Science will be used.

What does it mean to live well? To be truly healthy? To develop optimally? Researchers and clinicians have typically answered these questions by focusing on the presence or absence of various pathologies: illness, dysfunctional family relationships, mental illness, or criminal behavior. But such a “deficit” approach says little about what makes a good life – what it means to develop optimally.

“The Global Flourishing Study is exactly the kind of work that is needed to understand the interplay of key elements in the human experience: what helps us live well, be happy and feel that our lives have meaning and purpose, “said the project’s co-director, Dr. Tyler VanderWeele, the John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University, the important article on evaluating human wellbeing in leading academic journals such as JAMA and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published. “With the longitudinal research design, we will be able to significantly expand the scientific knowledge about the determinants of human well-being.”

Project leader Dr. Byron Johnson, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, also commented on the importance of the data in better understanding the role of religion in a global context: “It is an exceptional opportunity for the Baylor-Harvard team to conduct a panel study like this because our sample is so large we can examine all of the world’s major religions and see what role, if any, they play in human well-being. “

The group of participants includes people from Egypt, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Ukraine, Great Britain and the United States.

Over the next five years or more, the team will analyze longitudinal data on the patterns, determinants, and social, psychological, spiritual, political, economic and health components and causes of human wellbeing. “There have been several probability-based, nationally representative studies that have followed the same respondents in a single country over an extended period of time,” said Dr. Rajesh Srinivasan, Global Research Director of the Gallup World Poll, “but few have attempted to cover multiple countries. The scope of this project is unprecedented and should provide valuable insights for global survey research using this type of methodology.”

The design of the questionnaire was extensively developed and provided with feedback, including months of work on refining the questions, translation, cognitive tests and pilot studies. This work is in one detailed report from Gallup summarized.

The research team will work with the Center for Open Science to make the Global Flourishing Study data an open-access resource so that researchers, journalists, policymakers and educators around the world can find detailed information about what is an optimally lived one Life matters. Dr. David Mellor, Director of Policy at the Center for Open Science, commented, “The rigor and transparency used in the analysis will increase confidence in the research that emerges from this work and raise the barriers to global equitable access on this information. We are very excited to be working with these teams and supporting this process. “

Overall, the goal is to build a mature field of study around the science of human wellbeing that will produce research that will influence social and health policy. As Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup noted, “The Global Flourishing Study is a methodological innovation that can really change the world – that can really change the way the world is run.” VanderWeele added: “This is a great opportunity. We are very excited to see what we and other researchers around the world will learn.”

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

In addition to Johnson and VanderWeele, the members of the Baylor-Harvard team also include the doctors Matt Bradshaw, Merve Balkaya-Ince, Brendan Case, Ying Chen, Alex Fogleman, Sung Joon Jang, Philip Jenkins, Thomas Kidd, Matthew T. Lee, Jeff Levin, Tim Lomas, Katelyn Long, Van Pham, Sarah Schnitker, John Ssozi, Robert Woodberry and George Yancey.

Information on Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion

Baylor, founded in 2004 Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) encourages, supports and carries out research on religion. Scientists and projects from the entire intellectual spectrum are included: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, philosophy, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. Our mandate extends to all religions, everywhere and throughout history, and includes studying the effects of religion on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While our scholars strive to maintain appropriate scientific objectivity, they treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve.

Information on the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University

The Human Flourishing Program at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard aims to research and promote human well-being and develop systematic approaches for the synthesis of knowledge across disciplines. Research under the program contributes to the far-reaching question of how knowledge of the quantitative social sciences can be integrated with that of the humanities on questions of human well-being and how this synthesis of knowledge can best be carried out across disciplines. The program aims to create a closer connection between the empirical social sciences and the humanities. The program publishes research and sponsors educational activities such as courses, seminars and conferences for the university community at Harvard University. The aim is to bring knowledge across disciplines together and to think about how knowledge from different disciplines could form a coherent whole.

Information on Gallup

Gallup is a global research-based consultancy with more than 80 years of experience measuring public opinion and human development. Through its own research activities and in collaboration with government, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, Gallup develops indicators to measure the most important indicators for global development and social responsibility over the course of time.

Information on the Center for Open Science

The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit technology startup founded in 2013 with the aim of improving the openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by building communities around open scientific practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free open source software tools such as this Open Science Framework (OSF). Learn more at

Press contact:

Alex Fogleman, Ph.D., GFS Project Manager, Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University, [email protected]
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Original content by: Baylor University, transmitted by news aktuell

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