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Culture and Decision Science Network Lab (Kwan)

Keywords:  self; culture; social psychology; personality; anthropomorphism; cyberpsychology; sustainability

Lab Research Area:

Pick one. Life is full of dilemmas, isn't it?!

In almost every culture, we can find some form of fried dough, and they are different in shape, color, and flavor. Most importantly -- deep down -- all of them are sinfully delicious! As we see both the differences and similarities in fried dough around the world, we find distinguishing characteristics associated with the people behind these culinary creations. The mission of the Culture and Decision Science Network is to understand how people think, feel, and behave like they do and the underlying influences of dynamic interactions between culture and individual psychology.

In our research, we define culture broadly. More specifically, our research focuses on three areas: self vs. other perception, intracultural vs. extracultural cognition, and between cyberlife engagement and physical life engagement.

If you would like to share your research with the culture and decision science network or start a collaboration with us, contact Dr. Virginia Kwan.

Lab Director and Principal Investigator:  Virginia Kwan, PhD, Associate Professor

 My research focuses on the psychology of boundaries between perception of self and perception of others using multiple methods, multiple cultures, and multiple species. My recent research addresses the boundaries between perceived human and perceived nonhuman agent, and between cyberlife engagement and physical life engagement, and the impacts of these boundaries on how people attend to, understand, and interpret modern disasters, such as climate change and cyber-attacks. The ultimate goals of my research are to develop new ways to better serve people, making technology more user-friendly and safe. Curriculum Vitae.

Graduate Students

Robert Mark Adelman, Doctoral Student, Social Psychology, Department of Psychology
My primary research interests include the self, egocentrism, and heuristics and biases in judgment and decision-making,and the influence of culture on these types of cognition. My recent research has focused on temporal orientation/time value orientation, hypothesizing how it is likely influenced by ecology and culture and how it impacts a wide range of psychological processes, such as comparison processes, job/life satisfaction, and evaluations of progress.

Jessica Bodford, Doctoral Student, Social Psychology, Department of Psychology
My primary interests reside in the area of digital culture, exploring the dynamic interplay between the physical and the digital—our online selves and our offline behaviors. I have examined topics including: (1) predictors of dangerous cell phone behaviors; (2) resilience in the face of natural and manmade disasters through electronic communication; (3) the anthropomorphism of cell phones as a function of attachment style; and (4) Facebook stalking as an inhibitor of resilience following romantic break-ups in college students.

Ashley Votruba, Doctoral Student, Social Psychology, Department of Psychology and Law Student, ASU School of Law
My broad research goal is to use the theories and principles of social psychology to complete research focused on legal issues and public policy. More specifically, I am interested in perception of authority figures (including organizations) and their influences on health decision-making and the influence of human cognition on the workings of tort litigation system.

Post-doctoral Fellow

Trudy Kuo, PhD
I am a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Warrior Lab. I am a cognitive neuroscientist by training but I am interested in topics broadly related to human cognition. As one of the Kwan Warriors, I am going to examine cognition in the context of modern disasters and help to develop a social behavioral model to address challenges related to the preparedness for a likely megadrought in Arizona.



Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Social Psychology JOB# 11566

Coordinator JOB# 27629BR (posted 11/10/16)

Selected and recent publications

Below are a sample of recent publications from Dr.Kwan's research and lab. A more complete listing may be found in Dr. Kwan's curriculum vitae.

In press
Adelman, R.M., Herrmann, S.D., Bodford, J.E., Barbour, J.E., Graudejus, O., Okun, M.A., & Kwan, V.S.Y. (in press). Feeling Closer to the Future Self and Doing Better: Temporal Psychological Mechanisms Underlying Academic Performance. Journal of Personality.

Basilio, C., Towers, M., &Kwan, V. S. Y. (in press). Culture and risk assessments: Why Latino Americans perceive greater risk for Diabetes. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Votruba, A. M., & Kwan, V. S. Y. (in press). When in Rome think like a Roman: Empirical evidence and implications of temporarily adopting dialectical cognition. The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of Dialectical Thinking. Editors Spencer-Rodgers, J. & Peng, K. Oxford University Press.

Kwan, V. S. Y., Yexin J. L., White, A. E., & Jacobson, R. P. View the world through the cultural lens of your consumers (2015). The Handbook of Culture and Consumer Behavior, A. Y. Lee & S. Ng (Eds.), Oxford University Press.

Kwan, V. S. Y., &Bodford, J. E.(2015). The Psychology of cyberlife engagement. In R. A. Scott & S. M. Kosslyn (Eds.) Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Thousand Oaks, CA: Wiley Publications.

Kwan, V. S. Y., & Herrmann, S. D. (2014). The Interplay between Culture and Personality. The Handbook of Personality, L. Cooper & R. Larsen (Eds.), the American Psychological Association, p. 553-574

Kwan, V. S. Y., & Andrew Edward White (2014). “The social cognition of global modern disasters.” Social Cognition, 32, 203-205.

2012 and older
Kwan, V. S. Y., Wojcik, S. P., Miron-shatz, T., Votruba, A. M., & Olivola C.Y. (2012). Effects of Symptom Presentation Order on Perceived Disease Risk. Psychological Science, 23, 381-385.

Alter, A., & Kwan, V. S. Y. (2009). Cultural sharing in a global village: evidence for extracultural cognition in white Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 742-760.

Kwan, V. S. Y., Gosling, S. D., & John, O. P. (2008). Anthropomorphism as a special case of social perception: A cross-species comparative approach and a new empirical paradigm. Social Cognition, 26, 129-142.



Lab highlights, news and more!

How Stuff Works features doctoral student Sarah Hermann's research with Jessica Bodford in  A Few Encouraging Words Can Change the Lives of Female STEM Students  (posted 25 Oct 2016).

Sarah Hermann and team of researchers including Jessica Bodford help young women in science with early intervention. Read more in ASU Now story by Emma Greguska,  Stemming the academic gender gap (posted 9, Sep 2016).

From the New York Post: "Should you get medical advice from Google?" (posted 27 June 2016).

Job Opportunity
Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Social Psychology JOB# 11566 (posted 4/27/16)

Kwan Warrior T-shirts

 Kwan Lab Conference Photo Album


Kwan Lab Around the World!