Sir John Templeton wrote that the intellectually-humble scientist represented an ideal role model for understanding the fundamental reality of life: “In fact, we should take as our models those careful scientists, conscientiously differentiating between the few aspects of reality that they can observe and those vast uncharted areas for which they have not yet devised technologies and methodologies for research. We should imitate those scientists who are not deluded by intellectual pride and doubt and who do not deny the metaphysical aspect of life” (Templeton, 1998, p. 50). Therefore, according to Sir John, developing the virtue of intellectual humility— a disposition to be alert to and to "own" one's cognitive limitations and mistakes— should ideally be an important goal of education. In this project, we address the following Big Questions:
1) What is the conceptual and developmental relationship between the intellectual virtues of curiosity, open-mindedness, and intellectual humility?
2) Can we create an educational tool that introduces intellectual humility into school settings and/or enhances understanding of intellectual humility in school settings where it has already been introduced?
3) Can specific programming lead to the promotion of the understanding of intellectual humility among middle-school students?
4) What triggers intellectual humility in daily adult life, and does the experience of adversity promote intellectual humility?
The present project directly addresses these questions by proposing the development of an educational film that promotes discussions of, and perhaps advances the understanding of, intellectual humility among middle school students. In addition to the film, we will conduct experimental tests among middle school children to examine whether the film could successfully elicit changes in cognitions and emotions related to intellectual humility.