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Dr William Chan
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr William CHAN

Assistant Professor


Dr William Chan is an environmental and social psychologist interested in understanding how people respond to contemporary social issues (e.g., climate change, disease outbreaks, the spread of misinformation). He obtained his MPhil and PhD degrees in Social Sciences at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Prior to joining The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Culture Lab headed by Professor Ying-Yi Hong at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours, climate change beliefs and its psychological impacts, socio-ecological approach, conspiracy beliefs, and intergroup processes.

He is currently investigating (1) the cross-national comparison in pro-environmental orientations and climate change opinions, (2) various factors underlying different types of pro-environmental and climate actions, (3) psychological underpinning of conspiracy beliefs, and (4) intergroup processes underlying people’s appraisal of climate change and socio-political issues. His research has been published in top-tier journals, including the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Environment and Behavior, Global Environmental Change, and Political Psychology.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • PhD (HKUST)
  • MPhil (HKUST)
  • BSSc (CUHK)

Research Interests

  • Pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors
  • Climate change opinions and perceptions
  • Environmental psychology
  • Socio-ecological psychology
  • Conspiracy beliefs and intergroup processes

Grants (selected)

“Spreading the Word for the Environment: Conversionary Action as a Distinct Type of Pro-Environmental Behavior.” Start-up grant, Funded by Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (April 2022 to June 2024). Total amount funded: HK$500,000. Role: Principle Investigator (PI). 

“Understanding conspiracy beliefs through the threat compensation and cultural perspectives”. Funded by General Research Fund, Research Grants Council, Hong Kong (2020/21). Total amount funded: HK$739,240. Role: Co-Investigator (Co-I).

“Understanding the Psychological Underpinnings of Identities and Intergroup Relations during Socio-Political Transitions – The Case of Hong Kong.” Funded by Senior Research Fellow Scheme 2021/22 (Ref#: SRFS2122-4H01), Hong Kong Research Grant Council, Hong Kong. (January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2026). Total amount funded: HK$7,798,380. Role: Collaborator.

“The psychology and ramifications of ‘Yellow’ versus ‘Blue’ political orientations in Hong Kong”. Funded by Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (Special Round). Total amount funded: HK$499,790. Co-Investigator (Co-I). (Completed)


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