Xuan Zhao 赵轩
5807 S Woodlawn Ave,
Chicago, IL 60637
There is nothing so practical as a good theory.
— Kurt Lewin
As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, my research focuses on two fundamentally related questions:
In my first line of research, I examine social cognitive processes such as perspective taking and empathy and interpersonal behaviors such as prosocial behaviors, cooperation, and compliment. By employing various methodologies from social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, I explore questions such as: What makes us more likely to take others' perspectives? How do we connect? And how can we promote prosocial behaviors?
In my second line of research, I investigate the above social cognitive processes against the backdrop of emerging social robots. This approach provides psychological insights to our new technologies and offers unique opportunities to understand what makes us human — and perhaps what isn’t so unique about humans. Specifically, I explore questions such as: When do people take robots' perspectives? What do human-like robots reveal about the way we perceive human-likeness? And how can we design empathic artificial intelligence?
Teaching is an integral part of my scholarship. I designed and taught "Leading with Empathy," a pre-college course at the Brown Leadership Institute that examines the connections between social psychology and social innovation. Striving for real-world applications of psychological research, I have trained in acting, persuasive communication, and conflict resolution. I also design executive training workshops in collaboration with the Second City, the world's premier comedy theater and school of improvisation.
I completed my PhD in Social Psychology at Brown University under the supervision of Bertram Malle and was an Exchange Scholar at Stanford's Department of Psychology under the supervision of Hyowon Gwoen. Before coming to Brown, I received my B.Sc. with first-class honors from Chu Kochen College, Zhejiang University and traveled around the world on Semester At Sea. Read updates from me here.