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Psychology, Mental Health, and Health

Sylvia Chen 8 15 19

Professor, Associate Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

MPhil (CUHK)
MA (Santa Clara)
BA (Sun Yat-sen)



3400 3696


The social psychology of bilingualism and biculturalism;
Globalization and multiculturalism;
Personality and social behavior in cultural contexts;
Socio-cultural influences on illness behaviors and help-seeking patterns


My URLs:



Social Psychology
Cross-cultural Psychology
Guided Study II: Research Methodology II


Research Interests:

Research Interests

The social psychology of bilingualism and biculturalism
Globalization and multiculturalism
Personality and social behavior in cultural contexts
Cultural diversity and mental health


Selected Projects (as PI)

  1. “Romantic Relationships in Cross-Cultural Perspective: The Role of Dialectical Relationship Thinking” (funded by RGC General Research Fund, 2020) with Ben Lam, Susan Cross, and Huajian Cai (Co-Is) 
  2. “Integrating and Extending Research on Social Axioms: A Systematic Review” (funded by RGC Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme, 2018)
  3. “Psychological Ramifications of Global Orientation in the Multicultural Society” (funded by RGC General Research Fund, 2014)
  4. “Examining the Effects of Generalized Beliefs on Coping Strategies and Psychological Functioning” (funded by RGC General Research Fund, 2012)
  5. “Promoting Policy Favoring Multiculturalism and the Social Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong” (funded by Public Policy Research Funding Scheme, 2011)
  6. “Examining the Long-Term Impact of Bicultural Orientations on Psychological Adjustment” (funded by RGC General Research Fund, 2008)


Total amount of internal and external grants obtained to date: HK$10.48 million in the capacity of PI and HK$3.50 million in the capacity of co-I.


Selected Publications:

Hamamura, T., Chen, Z., Chan, C. S., Chen, S. X., & Kobayashi, T. (in press). Individualism with Chinese characteristics? Discerning cultural shifts in China using 50 years of printed texts. American Psychologist.


Chen, S. X., Ng, J. C. K., Hui, B. P. H., Au, A. K. Y., Wu, W. C. H., Lam, B. C. P., Mak, W. W. S., & Liu, J. H. (2021). Dual impacts of coronavirus anxiety on mental health in 35 societies. Scientific Reports, 11: 8925. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87771-1


Chen, S. X., Mak, W. W. S., & Lam, B. C. P. (2020). Is it cultural context or cultural value? Unpackaging cultural influences on stigma toward mental illness and barrier to help-seeking. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11, 1022-1031.


Hornsey, M. J., Bain, P. G., Harris, E. A., Lebedeva, N., Kashima, E., Guan, Y., González, R., Chen, S. X., & Blumen, S., (2018). How much is enough in a perfect world? Cultural variation in ideal levels of happiness, pleasure, freedom, health, self-esteem, longevity, and intelligence. Psychological Science, 29, 1393-1404.


Chen, S. X., Lam, B. C. P., Hui, B. P. H., Ng, J. C. K., Mak, W. W. S., Guan, Y., Buchtel, E. E., Tang, W., & Lau, V. C. Y. (2016). Conceptualizing psychological processes in response to globalization: Components, antecedents, and consequences of global orientation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 11, 302-331.


Chen, S. X., Lam, B. C. P., Wu, W. C. H., Ng, J. C. K., Buchtel, E. E., Guan, Y., & Deng, H. (2016). Do people’s worldviews matter? The why and how. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 743-765.


Chen, S. X., Benet-Martinez, V., & Ng, J. C. K. (2014). Does language affect personality perception? A functional approach to testing the Whorfian hypothesis. Journal of Personality, 82, 130-143.


Chen, S. X., Lam, B. C. P., Buchtel, E. E., & Bond, M. H. (2014). The Conscientiousness paradox: Cultural mindset shapes competence perception. European Journal of Personality, 28, 425-436.


Chen, S. X., Benet-Martínez, V., Wu, W. C. H., Lam, B. C. P., & Bond, M. H. (2013). The role of dialectical self and bicultural identity integration in psychological adjustment. Journal of Personality, 81, 61-75.


Chen, S. X., & Bond, M. H. (2010). Two languages, two personalities? Examining language effects on the expression of personality in a bilingual context. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1514-1528.


Oyserman, D., Sorensen, N., Reber, R., & Chen, S. X. (2009). Connecting and separating mindsets: Culture as situated cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 217-235.


Chen, S. X., & Mak, W. W. S. (2008). Seeking professional help: Etiology beliefs about mental illness across cultures. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55, 442-450.


*Chen, S. X., *Benet-Martinez, V., & Bond, M. H. (2008). Bicultural identity, bilingualism, and psychological adjustment in multicultural societies: Immigration-based and globalization-based acculturation. Journal of Personality, 76, 803-838.

*shared first authorship


Chen, S. X., Cheung, F. M., Bond, M. H., & Leung, J. P. (2005). Decomposing the construct of ambivalence over emotional expression in a Chinese cultural context. European Journal of Personality, 19, 185-204.

Full Publication List


Professional & Community Service:

Director, Yan Oi Tong Au Suet Ming Child Development Centre


Member, RGC Humanities and Social Sciences Panel (Joint Research Schemes)


President, Asian Association of Social Psychology


Incoming Editor-in-ChiefJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology


Associate Editor

Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (2014 – 2018)
Asian Journal of Social Psychology (2014 – 2017)


Editorial Board

Political Psychology

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Personality Processes and Individual Differences section) (2014)
British Journal of Social Psychology (2018 – 2020)

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology (2015 – 2016)
Journal of Social and Political Psychology (2012-2017)
International Journal of Personality Psychology


Regional Representative (East Asia), International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (2012 – 2016)


Representative-at-large (Hong Kong), Asian Association of Social Psychology (2009 – 2017 )


Honors & Awards:

Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (previously American Psychological Society)

Fellow, Hong Kong Psychological Society

Early Career Award, International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, 2016 recipient

Michael Harris Bond Award for Early Career Research Contributions, Asian Association of Social Psychology, 2013 recipient

Student International Research Competitive Awards, American Psychological Association Division 52 (International Psychology), 2005, 2006, and 2007 recipient

Travel Fellowship, Gallup Positive Psychology Institute, 2006 recipient

Jung-heun Park Young Scholar Award, Asian Association of Social Psychology, 2005 recipient

J. P. Leung Memorial Award for Best Student Paper, Hong Kong Psychological Society, 2004, 2005, and 2006 recipient