Scholars in Residence
The Cultural Psychology of Religion Research Initiative provides funding for visiting scholars interested in cultural psychology of religion to study abroad at a western institution. The visiting scholar is expected to audit courses at their host institution, engage in scholarly research and writing, and seek opportunities to exchange with other scholars in the study of religion.
Ruiping Zhang (张瑞平)
“I am truly honored to have this opportunity to study in Fuller for three months. Last year, I attended a lecture at Beijing Normal University and found out from Dr. Li that there was a visiting scholar program to Fuller School of Psychology. It is a great chance for me. My major accomplishment here was to help finish the summary and abstract for the project study “Personality and Well-being in a Cross-Cultural Perspective: The Mediating Role of Ksantiparamita (Patience)”.
The group discussions were the most meaningful experience for me. I learned a lot from the discussion, which not only improved my English speaking and listening ability, but also deepened my understanding of emotion and help me to investigate deeply in the field of Chinese cultural psychology. This program helped me a lot with my future plans. Emotion is my field of interest, and moral emotion in Chinese culture is my primary topic. When I read the book and discuss with others, I reflect on what inspires me. It is very important to consider the influence of culture when studying. The theoretical framework developed by the western psychologists may not be suitable in the Eastern culture. So during the research process, preliminary interviews will tell us more about the interested variables. It was necessary to develop and use localization tool to find out the characteristics.
I have audited several classes in Fuller. My favorite class is ANOVA taught by Dr. Wang. Although I studied during my undergraduate and graduate level, I have grasped much new knowledge in the course of ANOVA. Dr. Wang explained clearly and introduced ANOVA comprehensively and systematically. For example, when studying the assumptions of normality and homogeneity of variance, Dr. Wang provided several ways to test the preconditions. Speaking of this point, I looked out many statistical books and papers to find out how to test the assumptions of normality, however the knowledge was scattered. Now, Dr. Wang gave me the answer. He is so nice and patient.
The last but not the least, I am very grateful for the kind invitation to study and investigate in Fuller School of Psychology, although only for three months, and am very grateful to those people who have worked very hard to make the program success, like Allison and Eric."
Zhang, R. P., & Li, T. (2017). Personality Traits and Subjective Well-being in Chinese University Students: The Mediated Effect of Confucian Psychological Assets. Psychological Science, 40(3), 657-663. (In Chinese)
Zhang, R. P., Li, T., & Wang, K. T.(2017). The relations of personality to well-being: From the perspective of religion.
Juncai Sun (孙俊才)
Ph. D. Qufu Normal University
“I came to the School Psychology in Fuller Theological Seminary at the perfect moment. The dream of seeking psychological research and practice that can heal people has fascinated me. Fuller is the place that helps my dreams take flight. Prof. Al’s wise lectures, incisive perspective and lively discussion make cultural psychology concrete and practical. It helped me to pay attention to human growth in cultural psychology research from a broader view. Prof. Pak is rigorous in academic research. She instructs us carefully and specifically in interview design and theoretical construction.
Through half a year's study, I learned to look at cultural psychology research from a broader perspective, and realized that cultural psychology researchers bear the responsibility for humanity’s health and peaceful progress. I fully understand the important role of applying cultural tradition to the individual spiritual growth. Cultural traditions and beliefs are the foundation of spiritual growth, however, under the influence of globalism, cultural traditions and beliefs in many parts of the world were undermined. This happens everywhere in the world, people’s bodies and minds are suffering. Therefore, the construction of culture in the future requires that people have a clear understanding of the regional cultural tradition, and on the basis of their inheritance and the construction of their new cultural traditions.
Through six months of research collaboration, I have obtained some progress in aspects of defining concepts, constructing theories, and analyzing data. At present, from the concept of culture, logically applying the concept of cultural psychology to research is one of the key tasks in research. More importantly, the definition of the concept must be understandable in both Eastern and Western cultural contexts. Through the collaborative research process, I gradually learned to understand research method of the definition of concepts."
Qingbo Huang (黄庆波)
Ph.D. candidate, Institute of Population Studies, Peking University
“It is my great honor to study on the Cultural Psychology of Religion Research in Fuller Theological Seminary. It is a really wonderful and precious experience and I learned a lot during this period.
First, I have audited several courses related to religion and cultural psychology. The religion courses help me to further understand the cultural aspects of church life. Another taught me how different cultures affect the definition of psychological disorder, emotion expression, attachment, human development, pathology, religion, etc.
Second, I finished part of the research project work on Religion and Suffering among Yi groups in China. With my colleagues, I examined the differences among different religions within one minority group on suffering narratives including what is suffering, why there is suffering, how is the emotion expressed, and help-seeking in suffering.
In addition, there are weekly meetings where we discussed ideas with some visiting scholars and faculty in School of Psychology in Fuller. It was a wonderful discussion and triggered a lot of new ideas and forced me to deeply understand the cultural aspects of psychology, especially the Chinese culture. For example, compared with the individualistic model of psychological therapy and healing, the group healing is mostly ignored, We want to ask a question: Are there any culture resources that would facilitate group healing?
Finally, the School of Psychology in Fuller has provided a wonderful environment for me to sharpen my academic skills. The most surprising and exciting thing is that Fuller Library has a large Chinese collection, which was very convenient in my studies."
Rachel Sing-Kiat Ting, Louise Sundararajan and Qingbo Huang. (in press). Narratives of Suffering: A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Two Yi Religious Communities in Southwest China. Social Scientific Study of Religion.
Rachel Sing-Kiat Ting, Kejia Zhang and Qingbo Huang. Indigenous psychology for the others Chinese: Studying the mind and spirits among ethnic minorities in China. (book chapter in preparation)
Rong Shi (石荣)
Master of Science in Psychology, Shanxi Medical University
“During my time at Fuller, I realized the importance of indigenous cultural research. And this experience helped me improve and understand myself better. Before I studied Chinese culture, I automatically associated it with feudalism and backwardness. I realized the important influence of culture on people's spiritual growth and the pursuit of Chinese culture in emotional refinement. This occurred after one year of study in Fuller, especially after I audited Dr. Dueck 's class on culture and community psychology and read Louise’s Sundararajan’s book on Understanding Emotion in Chinese Culture. On the other hand, through participating in the courses and group discussions with Ralph Hood, Kenneth Wang and Jenny Pak, I learned good research methods. First, the importance of theory in research. In the past, I didn’t consider the theoretical basis of the hypothesis, but after the learning in Fuller, I found that research was a well-established process. And the research based on certain theories is recommended because not only can it provide evidence for theory and deepen the understanding of theory, but also can revise the theory or put forward a new theory. Second, My cooperation with Jenny has taught me how to conduct interviews and qualitative analysis, and this method is particularly important for discovering new research propositions and developing indigenous cultural psychology theories. Third, the learning of quantitative analysis. I have mastered the validation factor analysis and cross-group comparison with Mplus and have a better understanding of ANOVA through following Dr. Wang’s class.
The experience in the United States helped me understand American culture better, which prompted me to reflect on the difference and similarity between China and American in education, culture, and other areas. I had a meaningful time at Fuller, and I enjoyed the good academic atmosphere and beautiful sunshine. My future plan is to complete our research project successfully, continue to explore cultural and religious psychology, and get my Ph. D degree when I go back to China."
Juncai Sun, Rong Shi. (2016). Emotional Wisdom of Confucian Culture. Journal of Nanjing Normal University. (5), 101-111.
SUN Jun-cai, SHI Rong. Self construction mechanism of Buddhism culture for improving mental health, Journal of Religious Psychology (in press).
SUN Juncai; SHI Rong.(2017). Attentional bias to crying facial expressions: Evidence from eye movements,Acta Psychologica Sinica, 49(2): 155-163.
Zhengjia Ren (任正伽）
“At Fuller, I’m working with Professor Jenny Pak on one qualitative research project about culture, spirituality, and trauma in China. Besides, I joined Professor Al Dueck's culture psychology course and two discussion groups. He inspired me to not only work with symptoms, but also to understand the underlying social-culture and political reasons for symptoms. I regularly discussed different topics related to culture, health and religion with my advisors. I am currently working on papers on mysticism in China; culture, health and religion- a ethnographic research; Loss of Homeland- A Qualitative Study on the Perceived Changes of earthquake survivors; and trauma and coping in Chinese population.
The study experiences build my understanding of psychology of religion as indigenous to the contexts in which is developed and in which it operates may help forge a new conception of the role of Culture. I will come to focus more on research about culture, health and spirituality in my future research in China."
Sing Kiat Ting (陈心结）
“As a Principal investigator for the TRI grant in Psychology of Religion in China, I had been conducting research and fieldwork in China from 2014 summer to 2016 summer. I was able to spend my 3-month sabbatical as a visiting scholarship at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA, Pasadena) and Taiwan Academy of Sinica.
Fuller SOP is my alma mater and it was glad to be back to the familiar campus for rejuvenation of my vision and academic work. I was able to meet with Dr. Al Dueck, my mentor and ex-advisor, to share about my work and dream in China. Overall, the Visiting Scholar program was quite supportive of my personal and professional development at this stage of life. I was able to access the library at Fuller, and produced relevant write up for the data analysis within those 2 months. The main goal of the Visiting scholarship was to finish the book draft from our research.
Though it was very hectic, my goal of writing was accomplished as expected by end of the three-month program. Besides, I was also able to mentor one of my research assistants (Huang Qingbo) during this period of time. My future plan is to search for an academic position in Asia that will continue to nourish my dream in Indigenous psychology practice and research. Thanks for everyone that makes my stay at Fuller a pleasant and smooth transition."
Ting, S. -K. & Sundararajan, L. (2017). Culture, Cognition, and Emotion in China's Religious Ethnic Minorities: Voices of Suffering among the Yi. In “Palgrave Studies in Indigenous Psychology” book series by Palgrave MacMillan publication.
Yanmei Cao (曹艳梅)
Master of Science in Psychology, Shanxi Medical University
“During my time at Fuller, I have learned a lot to improve my academic performance. I audited several classes, read dozens of articles, and attended many lectures. This kind of intense academic training improved my research ability.
Group discussion is my favorite class format. Every week we have advanced cultural psychology lab or religious psychology lab. The professor distributes materials for us to read, and then we talk about it when we meet. Through our discussions I learned that critical thinking and clearly stating personal opinions are very important. Even the ability of arguing with other scholars is necessary. Dr. Wang led the visiting scholars to do research on religious psychology. Being involved with this research provided me with a great chance to do the research with the scientific method.
I have completed three articles, of which two are in Chinese co-authored with Prof. Xue, one is in English working with Prof. Wang. Additionally, I’m writing a qualitative article under the supervision of Prof. Pak. By doing this, I helped the team of Prof. Xue to promote the project and practiced how to write for an English publication.
After this program, I will go back China to help Dr. Xue finish the project and I’m planning to apply to a doctoral program in America. My research area will be spirituality and health. Although I’m still not sure which program I will do, among Nursing Science, Clinical Psychology and Consulting Psychology, I can do similar research to what I mentioned earlier. After I finish my Ph.D. program, I will go back China to help build the field of religious psychology with proficient English and well trained academic ability."
Xue, Y. Z., Cao, Y. M., Li, M. S., Feng, J. H., Sun, Y. W. (in press). Medical Humanities Reflection of Indigenous Hospice Care in China. Medicine and Philosophy.
Cao, Y. M., Xue, Y. Z., Ge, G. J., Niu, R. G. Xin, L. Y., Yu, J. (in press). The Research of the Influence Factors of Dignity in Patients with Advanced Cancer in China. Journal of Nursing.
Wang, K. T., Zhang, L., & Cao, Y.M. (in press). Chinese Psychology of Religion Measures: A Systematic Review and Best Practice Guidelines. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion.
Conferences Attended: 2
Li Zhang (张力）
Master of Science in Applied Psychology, University of Southern California
“As a visiting scholar, I spent a year at the Travis Research Institute, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this program, as it allowed me to work with some really great colleagues and professors. Dr. Alvin Dueck, our program director, is a diligent, knowledgeable, and virtuous cultural psychologist, whom I respect full-heartedly. Dr. Dueck is very familiar with Western philosophy and psychology while he also has some great insights in Chinese culture and Chinese society. Given his knowledge and expertise, he still has great curiosity toward new thoughts and new findings. I miss all those talks we had on history, society, culture, and religion in both China and the U.S. He also has great enthusiasm in what he does. When in work, he seems to have endless energy.
Another professor I respected is Dr. Kenneth Wang, whom I worked with extensively. Dr. Wang is a well-trained psychologist and an expert in scale development. I participated in several of his projects and learned a lot about scale development, both in theory and in practice. He is patient and easy-going, and it is always a pleasure to work with him. Dr. Wang also has a strong sense of humor, as his jokes always bring us to laughter.
With its strong religious background, Fuller allowed me to not only learn in class the history of American religion, religious beliefs, and religious institutions, but also observe them in daily lives, which in a sense gives me a taste of the life of ordinary American people. These experiences are invaluable for me as a cultural social psychologist, because with all this knowledge about American history, religion, and society, I can finally try to understand Americans from an American perspective. All the cultural psychology theories such as individualism/collectivism, independent/interdependent self, and analytic/holistic thinking used to seem so abstract and weird for me, but now with the ethnographic knowledge of America I obtained at Fuller, I can finally understand and make sense of them.
Fuller also provided a considerate and welcoming environment for us visiting scholars. People here are always patient and supportive, and I can tell that they truly respect and appreciate my culture. It feels like a large community, where people love and support each other. I am sure future scholars will also have a delightful experience at Fuller."
Wang, K. T., Zhang, L., & Cao, Y. (in press). Chinese Psychology of Religion Measures: A Systematic Review and Best Practice Guidelines. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion.
Conferences Attended: 2
Shengmin Liu (刘盛敏）
Faculty, Huzhou University
"How time flies, my time at Fuller passed by in a flash. When I recall the past six months, I feel very fortunate.
In the last semester, along with other visiting scholars, I was involved in meetings with Dr. Dueck. We are reading the book Foundations of Chinese Psychology by K.K. Hwang and other papers about cross-cultural psychological research together. It made me more aware of the importance of cross-cultural psychological research, and helped me understand the meaning of my research. Although my research on the secularization of Buddhists may not result in a grant theory, at least we have made an attempt at indigenous psychology. Thanks very much for Dr. Dueck who led so many Chinese scholars or students to do so much meaningful work.
My advisor is Dr. Kenneth Wang, I learned from him how to develop a standardized scale. Even though he was very busy, he would always take time to discuss my proposal and specific issues in the process of scale development.
At Fuller you can participate in a lot of courses on religion and psychology, and academic lectures are also very frequent. However, what benefitted me the most is that the other visiting scholars, along with my Chinese and Western consultants, helped me prepare my research proposal for approval. In this process, I learned a lot. As I wrote my proposal and carried out my study, every time I had a problem, they gave me a lot of good advice. I had many new discoveries in the re-reading of the literature. I think that every time I have a discussion with Dr. Dueck’s team I discover something new. This is particularly good.
In addition, we have dedicated staff to follow up with the scholars in residence program and the research project teams, so we saved a lot of time. I’m very grateful to them. We often get together for meals and activities, just like a family, it is very fun. So in the six months of study here, it has become a very valuable part of my life."
Hui Lu (路晖）
Ph.D. candidate, Institute of Psychology, Beijing Normal University
"I am honored to have had this chance to study in Fuller as a visiting scholar for seven months. During this time, I have audited classes and lectures that I was interested in, participated in academic projects, and wrote my thesis on psychology of religion. The most important thing is, I have met the admirable Professor Dueck. I respect his passion about Chinese culture, and his efforts made to draw from the essence of ancient Chinese wisdom and culture. This has also caused me to reflect on a new perspective on our past history and culture. The project Professor Dueck coordinated allowed Chinese scholars to inwardly cherish our traditional culture, rather than to move closer to the mainstream of Western psychology. Personally, he is very nice and humorous, the dinners and presentations in his house were a wonderful experience for me. Additionally, he always gave me unconditional support and encouragement when I was in a dilemma.
Also, I sincerely appreciate Professor Wang for tutoring us in his psychology of religion project. During participation in his projects, we had many brainstorming sessions to construct the dimensions of the scale, and discussed the literature. I learned how to do the academic research from this process. Professor Wang is such a traditional Chinese gentleman. He is always nice, warm and patient to everyone, I learned a lot from him. Moreover, Dr. Sundararajan gave us brilliant lectures about Chinese emotion and culture, I was especially inspired by her idea that Chinese well-being might be cherished every moment, find interest in everyday life, and have a peaceful mindset, which made me ask whether Chinese psychology is more subtle and sophisticated than western psychology. We should make contribution to develop scales and tools more suitable for Chinese.
Additionally, Professor Pak inspired me with the method of qualitative research and her warm attitude, Allison Parsley and Tiffany Suen gave support and kind help to all the visiting scholars in Fuller. Thanks to all the lovely people I met at Fuller, I spent a productive and meaningful time there, and I am sure other visiting scholars also feel the supportive, comprehensive and respectful atmosphere there. I learned more about culture differences; grew more interested in religious psychology, and definitely improved my oral and written English. My future plan is to get a Ph. D degree, and continue to explore cultural and religious psychology."
Hui Lu, Tsingan Li. (2016). Relations between big-five personality and subjective well-being: mediating effect of the Confucian’s psychological capital (commitment, empathy and serving the People).( manuscript in preparation)
Conferences Attended: 2
Juan Cao (曹绢）
Master of Arts in Religious Studies, Fudan University
“My study abroad experience was wonderful, I learned a lot. I took four statistics classes, which helped me strengthen my foundations. I also practiced my English ability and improved my English listening, writing, and speaking skills. I borrowed and bought lots of books and papers here, widening my knowledge and horizons. Now I have a good overall view of the academic area of psychology of religion, and a systematic view of the studies of religious orientation.
I made many American friends. They helped me to understand American culture and their faith. I also joined many American cultural events and festivals--Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. These helped me to understand Americans and Christianity, what they do in these festivals, what they feel. How Christianity influences their life. For many people living here in Chattanooga, Christianity is a life style.
Meanwhile, the most important thing I learned during this study abroad is the way of thinking of Americans. By comparing with them, I grew to understand my Chinese mindset more deeply—actually I think this part is the biggest achievement and benefit of the 9 months of studying abroad. For example, once when I was discussing something with an America girl, we had a misunderstanding. We realized that I misunderstand what she said. I was about to apologize, but immediately she said, “I’m sorry, it’s my fault, I need to make myself clear.” From a Chinese point of view, the listener needs to understand what the speaker said correctly. So I saw the fault as being mine. But for the Americas girl, the fault was hers because it is the speaker’s responsibility to make listener understand the conversation clearly. Perhaps the differences between Americans and Chinese are in this: the rule of judgment is different.
I have one more interesting example. Once I watched a Chinese movie with some American friends. There are some ancient teachings of Daoism in this movie. The sage in the movie is teaching a principle by metaphor. After the movie, my friends didn’t understand the meaning of the principle, so they asked me if I could explain it. After my explanation, they sighed and said, ‘why they don’t they just say it in plain language, why do they always use metaphor?’ I found this interesting because for a Chinese person, using metaphor to teach is the normal way. But for Americans, analysis and logic is the natural way. This difference is well known in cultural studies between the West and the East, but it is in this study abroad period that I got to experience it directly.
Based on these findings, I plan to deepen my research of psychology of religion. My research is about cultural differences, seeking the real character of Chinese culture. It is about understanding the nature of China and then developing an indigenous methodology to study it. By understanding the differences between America and China, I can flesh out the distinguishing features of Chinese culture. Through comparison, I can define the concepts. This study abroad experience really helped me a lot.”
Sophia Xu (徐红红)
Ph.D. Medical Psychology Department, Peking University Health Science Center
“During 2014-2015, I was honored to have the opportunity to visit Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. It was an inspiring and transformative experience for me.
Eric Yang, (杨寅)
Ph.D. Department of Clinical Psychology, Peking University
Ding, X., Yang, Y., Qian, M., & Gordon-Hollingsworth, A. (2015). Specific effects of anger rumination on particular executive functions. Psychological reports, 117(3), 825-841.
Dueck A., & Yang Y. (in press). Homegrown Emotions. Theory & Psychology.
Conferences Attended: 3
Henghao Liang, (梁恒豪)
Ph.D. Department of Religious Theory
Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Visiting Scholar, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
As a scholar specializing in psychology of religion, especially in China, my most passionate work is to make my own contributions in setting up our own discipline, that is, Chinese psychology of religion. So I need to gather information and materials, to find scholars those who are also interested in this discipline, to establish a communication system including regular meetings to share new research, to establish a new journal for our papers, to participate many activities, and to give lectures to let more and more people know about our research, and so on.
In 2010, my colleagues and I had a chance from Fuller to participate in the APA meeting in San Diego, where we listened to many lectures and met members of Division 36, which gave us a general model image of this discipline. At Fuller, I met many professors and listened to some lectures on psychology of religion, which gave me an opportunity to go through this course from the beginning to the end and have lots of chances to communicate with students there, which helped me to gain knowledge and experience. For example, I learned a lot from Justin Barrett's course Psychology of Religion and Alvin Dueck's reading course on Cultural psychology of religion. As my tutor, Professor Dueck met me weekly to listen to my own thoughts on psychology of religion and ask me if there’s any difficulty for me to overcome, which help me a lot for my research career. The most important change for me is that when I come back, I have more confidence in research and even teaching a course in this field.
In future, I hope I can do even better in my work of pushing forward this discipline psychology of religion in China. In my own research, I will try my best to find as many psychological sources as possible in Chinese traditional religions.
Now I have published my own book The Approach of Spiritual Life: Carl Jung’s View of Psychology of Religion, translated several books and articles, and published some articles both in home and abroad. I am one of the chief editors of the book journal Psychology of Religion (Chinese), we have published three volumes annually, and I will also continue to organize regular meetings and journals in psychology of religion to improve myself and provide a stage for scholars in this field. I am thankful for my experiences at Fuller, and I will try my best to put forward my research, and keep a close relationship with Fuller and colleagues in Pasadena in future.”