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Other Research


A Simple Act of Charity? The characteristics and complexities of charitable giving

Who gives what to whom and why?

The main objective of this project was to explore charitable giving behaviours and to provide an insight into what motivates individuals to contribute to charitable causes. An increase in awareness and knowledge of the reasons why children, young people and adults choose to donate to charity enables a better understanding of how to engage those individuals in charitable giving, and serve the interests of society at large. Reasons for charitable giving are far from simple and straightforward. It is not the level of individual wealth that determines whether individuals engage in charitable giving in the UK, nor how much they choose to give, but that they do so out of a complex web of the relationships between a sense of duty, compassion and altruism. 

As part of this exploration, a systematic review of the literature on charitable giving was carried out; the annotated bibliography used in this review is available to read here.

An Insight Series paper titled 'A Simple Act of Charity? The Characteristics and Complexities of Charitable Giving in the United Kingdom' is available here.


A Study of the Inspire>Aspire Poster Programme of Character Scotland

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues have commissioned academics at the University of Glasgow to undertake a project evaluating and reviewing materials collated by Character Scotland and their poster competition ‘Inspire>Aspire’. The team in Scotland will conduct a study with students who undertook the poster competition two years previously. The project will explore the students’ active involvement in areas indicated as major themes in the poster work with the view to fully ascertain the extent to which the aspirations identified in their own work have longevity.

A report detailing the findings from the project is available here

You can find out more about the Inspire>Aspire programme, run by Character Scotland, here


The Cognitive Aspect of Moral Education

How can the cognitive aspect of moral education be understood?

Is it possible to impart moral beliefs in such a way that they are held on the basis of appropriate and sufficient reasons, or is the process of moral belief transmission necessarily subrational and manipulative? The aim of this philosophical research project was to develop a theory of cognitive moral education, an account of whether and how moral beliefs should be imparted to students.  Forthcoming papers will be posted here in due course.


Theological Roots of Gratitude in the Three Major Monotheistic Faiths

What is the meaning of gratitude in Judaism, Christianity and Islam?

What similarities and what differences in understanding gratitude exist between these three traditions? Since each tradition regards gratitude as a virtue, this project explored the extent to which these understandings overlap.

The project is discussed further in an Insight Series paper titled 'It is Good to Give Thanks: Gratitude in the Abrahamic Religions', available here



Towards a Philosophical and Ethical Analysis of the Concept of Gratitude

How can the meaning and notion of gratitude be understood?

The aim of this research project was to provide conceptual clarification of the notion of gratitude. It began by considering whether gratitude is a virtue or an attitude, and how each might be qualified. The connection between gratitude and service to others was also explored. 


Risking it all?

What are young people’s attitudes to risk, and what implications does this have for their character?

The purpose of this research is to explore empirically young people’s attitude to risk, and what implications this has for the development of character and values. The project will focus on the attitudes of 11-14 year olds, with a view to suggesting ways in which a responsible attitude to risk can be encouraged. It may seem that the financial crisis and environmental threats, to take two examples, are inclined to dispose society at large to eschew risk if at all possible. This makes it all the more important that the formation of the character of young people should take into account the importance of developing a responsible attitude to risk.


A New Framework for Education and Wellbeing

How can education be infused with positive psychology?

The Centre brought together some of the world’s leading thinkers in the fields of education and psychology hosting a Positive Education Summit at No. 10 Downing Street, to consider what a new framework for education and wellbeing might look like and to create an action plan for implanting positive psychological principles within education. The aim is to provide a framework that can be applied to any national or local context, thereby enabling any government or school operating body to restructure their teaching and learning accordingly.