Xuan Zhao 赵轩
190 Thayer Street, Office 402
Providence, RI 02912
There is nothing so practical as a good theory. — Kurt Lewin
Xuan Zhao is a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at Brown University. She graduated from Zhejiang University in 2011 with first-class honors from Chu Kochen College. She was an exchange scholar at Stanford's Department of Psychology (Winter & Spring 2015) and a Semester At Sea student (Spring 2011).
Working with Dr. Bertram Malle at Brown and Dr. Hyowon Gweon at Stanford, I employ various methodologies from social, developmental, and cognitive psychology to study fundamental processes underlying social perception and interaction, such as perspective taking, empathy, and human-robot interaction.
My primary line of research focuses on the question: "What makes people more likely to take others' perspectives?” Questions I would like to explore in my future research include: How do people connect? How can we promote ethical and prosocial behaviors? How to make people see each other as full human beings? And, after all, what makes a human uniquely human—as opposed to robots, animals, or instruments for special purposes?
Psychology in the Society:
Being a social psychologist is my way of more deeply understanding the world and trying to make it a better place. Considering teaching an integral part of my scholarship, I designed and taught "Leading with Empathy", a pre-college course at Brown Leadership Institute which examines potential connections between social psychology and social innovation; I also TA-ed undergraduate psychology courses at Brown and an MBA course at Stanford. Striving for real-world applications of—and inspirations for—psychological research, I took additional training in acting, persuasive communication, and conflict resolution, and once co-designed a mobile app aiming to promote people's awareness of and engagement in grassroots philanthropy in China.