the lab...

We focus on understanding how personal development, including learning neuroscience, can improve our life.

Some of the more specific questions we are studying include:

  • Which concepts of neuroscience are most important for the general public to learn in order to enhance their lives?
  • What knowledge about the brain is most useful for life coaches in practice? What about other healthcare practitioners?
  • Which neuroscience concepts enhance classroom teaching at the university level? At the secondary level? At the elementary level?
  • Do athletes benefits from learning about neuroscience, for example, learning how to effectively use the visualization capabilities of their brains or the arousal system?
  • Does learning about stress and its negative effects on the brain lead people to make positive behavioural changes and healthier living?

These are just some of the guiding questions we are pursuing in the laboratory. In fact, the list is never ending because this is such a new area of study. We have only recently learned enough about the brain to be able to apply it in to many concepts of positive psychology. The future of this type of neuroscience research is indeed exciting!

A Positive Psychology Study of People Pursuing Life Coaching

The Centre for Applied Neuroscience is a life coach training institute, which offers tools and concepts for empowering people to 1) seek and attain personal goals, 2) thrive as an individual through enhancement of personal strengths, and 3) develop greater satisfaction and meaning in life. The course began in 2010 and has since graduated over 135 students, some of whom become life coaches or otherwise use the training professionally and some of whom took the course out of personal interest. The course is one of the most comprehensive life coaching courses available, consisting of 6 months of course work and including psychology and neuroscience as part of its curriculum. Many participants have reported experiencinga significant benefit from taking the course, in terms of improving life satisfaction, wellbeing, confidence, optimism, and sense of self, while also reducing negative affect including anger, frustration, and stress. These qualities of life represent aspects of positive psychology, the sub-discipline within psychology that deals with individuals and communities that thrive and function optimally. The current research is designed to systemically examine (prospectively and retrospectively) the individuals who take the life coaching course and the positive impact that the course has on them by examining several measures of positive psychology.

We are currently collecting data to examine psychological wellbeing, happiness, personal strengths, life satisfaction, and mindful attention in individuals who have participated in our 5-month Life Coaching and Personal Development Course. We are collecting data from individuals before and after completing the course (for classes starting in 2014 and later), as well as individuals who are not currently registered in the course. We are also in the process of following up on all students who have previously taken the course (between 2010 through till the end of 2013), as a post-course survey only.  

The data collected will be combined with pre-existing data that was presented at the Canadian Positive Psychology Conference in July 2014. We plan to publish the full results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. We will also share these study results publicly when they are available. Preliminary results are available below. 

If you have any questions regarding the participation, the data, or any aspect of the research, please do not hesitate to contact the Principle Investigator, Dr. Mandy Wintink (awintink@canc.ca) or Research Coordinator, Candice Dwyer (info@canc.ca).

Research Coordinator, Candice Dwyer presenting our results at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association Meeting in Ottawa. July 2014.

Research Coordinator, Candice Dwyer presenting our results at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association Meeting in Ottawa. July 2014.

Research poster presented at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association in Ottawa. July 2014.

Research poster presented at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association in Ottawa. July 2014.

Participate in A Positive Psychology Study on People Pursuing Life Coaching 

We are currently recruiting individuals to participate in our research. The information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential and only used for research purposes. All data collected is coded and examined anonymously, unless otherwise specified by the participant.

We would graciously appreciate your participation in this study. Participation in the study is completely volunteer throughout the entire data collection process. Should you decide to volunteer and then later decide to withdraw from the study, you may do so at any time and for any reason.

If you are interested in participating, you can start right away by filling out the form below 0r by opening the link in a new browser:

Stress Study

We are currently recruiting individuals to participate in our research from March 13th - 20th, 2017. If you chose to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire (Smith Stress Inventory) on March 13th, 2017 comprising of 35 multiple choice questions, and then immediately after you will be asked to read a brief article. You will also be given instructions to be followed over the week, and then on March 20th you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire again.

The data collected will be used for research purposes and to inform how the Centre for Applied Neuroscience delivers information about the brain to the general public. The information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential and never be made public nor will it be distributed to a third party.  We would graciously appreciate your participation in this study and understand that your participation is completely voluntary throughout this study. You may withdraw at any point, for any reason.

If you are interested in participating in the research, please email katharine@canc.ca to receive follow-up instructions.

If you have any questions regarding the participation, the data, or any aspect of the research, please do not hesitate to contact Research Assistant, Katharine Forth, or Principle Investigator, Dr. Mandy Wintink, PhD, Research Director at the Centre for Applied Neuroscience Inc.