Faculty Profile

Rui Zhang

(he/him/his)Associate Professor of Psychology (2015)

Contact Information


Kaufman Hall Room 166


Professor Zhang's research examines the dynamic of psychological responses to cultural change in varying contexts. One such context involves societies that undergo rapid changes driven by the accelerated globalization processes. In another context of change that results from migration, he studies the psychological processes and consequences of biculturalism or acquiring two cultural identities.


  • B.A., Shanghai International Studies University, 2004
  • M.A., 2007
  • Ph.D., University of Alberta, 2013

2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall 2023

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

PSYC 450 Cultural Proc & Hum Behav
This seminar covers advanced research as it pertains to culture and psychology. To fully appreciate how culture is intertwined with human behavior, it is necessary to go beyond a survey of research that merely describes cultural variation. By cultural processes, we mean why, how, and when culture comes to shape psychological functioning for group differences to arise. As a result, we will pay close attention to different ways of accounting for cultural influence as well as the specific ways in which cultures vary. We will conclude this course by discussing some recent applications of this emerging science of cultural processes.

PSYC 550 Independent Research

Spring 2024

PSYC 150 Culture and Psychology
The vast amount of what we know in psychology is based on observations from a thin sliver of the humanity pie, an unreliable foundation for generalizing knowledge across time and place. This course starts with the position that a psychological science of Homo sapiens requires examining the various cultural and historical contexts that shape human behavior. Throughout this survey course, we will consider human universals and cultural diversity across a wide array of content areas including self, cognition, motivation, emotion, interpersonal and social behaviors, and health, with emphasis on the implications of such a cultural perspective for understanding what unites and divides us in the contemporary world.

PSYC 350 Rsrch Meth in Cult Psych
Cultural psychology is the study of psychological processes shaped by cultural context. In this course, students will learn about various research methods used in cultural psychology. To compare cultures and subcultures, cultural psychologists have employed a wide array of methodological tools; we will focus on survey, quasi-experimental, and experimental methods. We will discuss the application of these methods to cultural psychology research, especially in relation to topics of validity, bias/equivalence, causal inference, and replication. This intensive lab course will culminate in the design and implementation of a research project in the area of cultural psychology. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisite: 135, 140, 150 or 175; 210 & 211.

PSYC 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch