The Santa Barbara Institute’s programs focus on and synthesize pure and applied research. The former involves rigorous scientific investigation of the nature, origins, and role of consciousness in humanity and nature. The latter focuses on the pragmatic study of human well-being and positive psychology.
In recent years, the cognitive sciences have brought objective, third-person investigative techniques to the study of attention, emotion, and other aspects of consciousness, with remarkable results. The Institute is dedicated to the development of complementary and equally rigorous first-person techniques for investigating consciousness.
The overall research approach brings objective, quantitative investigation to bear upon states of consciousness achieved through the practice and application of meditative techniques derived from the world’s great contemplative traditions. These are balanced by and integrated with first-person, qualitative investigation of the experience of these states.