Sylvia-Xiaohua-ChenAProf Sylvia Xiaohua Chen

Assistant Professor,
Department of Applied Social Sciences

Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong



Sylvia Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a M.A. in counseling psychology from Santa Clara University, U.S.A.

Her research focuses on the social psychology of bilingualism and biculturalism, cross-cultural studies of personality and social behavior, and socio-cultural influences on illness behaviors and help-seeking patterns.

To this end, Sylvia has published over 30 journal articles and book chapters. She received the Jung-heun Park Young Scholar Award conferred by the Asian Association of Social Psychology in 2005 and several academic awards from the American Psychological Association Division 52 (International Psychology), Hong Kong Psychological Society, Gallup Positive Psychology Institute, and Hong Kong Association of University Women during 2004-2007.

Currently, she is on the editorial board of Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and an associate editor for Journal of Psychology in Chinese Societies.

Research Interests

  • Culture and language
  • Self and identity
  • Personality and social behavior in cultural contexts
  • Cross-cultural research methodology
  • Positive psychology

Recent Publications

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.

Mak, W. W. S., Chen, S. X., Lam, A., & Yiu, V. F. L. (2009). Understanding distress: The role of face concern among Chinese Americans, European Americans, Hong Kong Chinese, and Mainland Chinese. The Counseling Psychologist, 37, 219-248.

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.

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. 

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