I am currently a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Psychology at New York University, NY, USA, where I am affiliated with the Motivation Lab. In this lab, I work on a number of different projects including the social psychology of intellectual humility and paradoxical knowing funded by John Templeton Foundation.
My research focus is belief dynamics. I study how people construct beliefs about self, others, groups, and a society when they face uncertainty and disagreement. I also study how these psychological processes generate collective behaviors such as social change, diversity, polarization, and intergroup dis/integration. I particularly focus on the role of minority dissent in these processes. To understand the micro-mechanisms and macro-consequences of belief dynamics, I combine social psychology and other social sciences with a complex adaptive systems approach. Depending on research questions and levels of analysis, I use behavioral experiments, surveys, network analysis, and agent-based computational modeling.
I enjoy scientific conversations across disciplines and regions. I believe that social phenomena can be better understood by exploring different contexts and levels of analysis. To understand the micro-mechanisms and macro-consequences of belief dynamics, I have been collaborating with interdisciplinary and international researchers including epistemologists, political scientists, sociologists, and complex systems scientists in addition to social psychologists from different nations. For example, I have been collaborating with an interdisciplinary research group to understand how a group of people can collectively reach truth or polarized through group deliberation among cognitively limited agents. This group was originated at the University of Michigan center for the study of complex systems. This group, in which I am the only psychologist, has produced a number of publications. Our decade long collaboration has been recognized in the American Psychologist special issue: multidisciplinary research teams (Jung et al., 2019). Furthremore, in three summers of 2017, 2018, and 2019, I was invited to the research workshops at Santa Fe Institute to further develop my minority model. In 2019, this research was featured in a BBC Future article, entitled “how the views of a few can determine a country’s fate.” This project was recognized in the American Psychologist special issue: psychological perspectives on culture change (Jung, Bramson, Crano, Page, & Miller, 2021).
Some of conference symposia I organized include "Modeling the Psychological and Social Dynamics of Beliefs" at the 32nd Annual Convention of Association for Psychological Science (APS) in May 2020, Chicago, IL, the USA (canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic), "Changes in Group Structures, Uncertainty and Continuity" at the 17th General Meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology in July 2014 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and "Integrate or Separate? Collective Action in Uncertain Times" at the 10th Biennial Conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, June 2014 in Portland, OR, the USA. I chaired the Social Social colloquial series in the year of 2017-2018. I co-organized the Summer School of Asian Association of Social Psychology in 2021. I have been a program committee for the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas since 2017. I provided peer reviews for American Psychologist, European Physical Journal (EPJ) Data Science, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Political Psychology, Social Justice Research, etc.
2016 was a lucky year for me. I received the Best Paper Award from the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas, the APA-USNC International Travel and Mentoring Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Research Scientist of the Year Award from the Department of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea. Before coming to New York, I worked as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA, where I am affiliated with the Brain, Behavior, and Quantitative Science Program. I received my PhD in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University under supervision of Dr. Michael Hogg. I studied Biology B.S. at Seoul National University and Social Psychology M.A. at Sungkyunkwan University, both in Seoul. I worked as an editor for the Toto Book publisher. As part of this work, I formulated an environmental education program for youth and helped Dae-Kwon Hwang to run the Wild Grass School. Later I edited Mr. Hwang's related book, ''Wild Grass School".
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