Monthly Archives: January 2024

Article: Is Online Research Losing Its Edge? The Case for In-Person Research in the Age of AI

The landscape of research has been profoundly transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, propelling a mass transition to online research methodologies. However, the advent of sophisticated AI technologies capable of mimicking human responses has introduced new complexities, potentially undermining the authenticity of data collected through online surveys.

How can researchers best address this phenomenon in a growing digital age? What of the value of in-person research? Read Dr. Van Cappellen’s article, published by the Duke Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) here: The Case for In-Person Research in the Age of AI.

Research Opportunity! Bass Connections Project: What is Hope?

We are excited to announce an interdisciplinary Bass Connections Project Team for the 2024-2025 academic year!  Dr. Patty Van Cappellen will be serving as Team Leader alongside Dr. Erin Johnston for this project entitled, “What is Hope? Bridging the Gap between Experience and Research.”

In year-long Bass Connections project teams, faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students engage in collaborative research that explores complex societal issues. Duke students of all levels can apply! See the 2024-2025 Project Teams. Deadline for applications is February 12, 5p.m EST.

What is Hope?

Hope is a central concept not only to promoting resilience and flourishing, but also as a religious competency. Its scientific study is, however, surprisingly limited — existing conceptions range from too narrow to too broad. We aim to renew our understanding of hope through a deeper engagement with its lived experiences and existential roots.

This team will engage with the lived experience of hope as reported by practitioners and community members, including people of faith. Team members will expand the understanding of what hope is through semi-structured interviews to gather 30-60 personal stories of hope. A data repository will be created, containing rich qualitative data on experiences of hope from a diverse set of people representing different religious, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Student Opportunities:

  • The team will include 3 graduate students and 12 undergraduate students with interest and background in the social sciences.
  • Students will develop skills in project design and learn social science research methods, analytical skills, and critical evaluation.

Academic credit is available for Fall-Spring semesters.

Please see the Hope Project Team page for full details! See the 2024-2025 Project Teams call page to learn more about Bass Connections teams, FAQ, and the online application. We encourage all interested students to apply!


Research Feature Makes Most Popular ‘Greater Good’ Articles of 2023

In April 2023, Dr. Van Cappellen’s research on the embodiment of emotions was featured in an article by Jill Suttie for the Greater Good magazine: How Your Body Posture Communicates Feelings to Others. Greater Good is published by the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, Berkeley, whose mission is to share the science of a meaningful life. We are excited to announce that this feature has made the Top 25 most-read and highly-rated articles of 2023 at Greater Good!

Check out our Embodiment page for more on our research about postures, emotion, and religion!