Psychology professor researches popular Laws of Life Contest

UNH Professor of Psychology Victoria Banyard is a co-investigator on a comprehensive mixed-methods evaluation of the popular essay contest, The Laws of Life.

The Laws of Life Contest, sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, has been running for 25 years. It has spawned numerous similar contests worldwide. The contest invites high school students to contemplate the guiding laws or rules that are important to their lives, such as “the golden rule” or values such as love, gratitude, generosity, etc. The winner receives a $5,000 scholarship. More than 100,000 students enter the contest annually.

The University of the South has been awarded a $1.1 million, 3-year grant to conduct the first scientific evaluation of the essay contest. Banyard and her colleagues plan to assess the effects of writing the essay and how expressive writing on the Laws of Life might help people as they experience challenges in life.

Read more about the project at

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