My research focus is social psychology of belief dynamics. I investigate how people construct beliefs about self, others, groups, and a society when they face uncertainty and disagreement given that uncertainty reduction and internal consistency are two fundamental principles of human psychology. Specific psychological mechanisms of belief dynamics I have been studying include social inference (projection, depersonalization), cognitive limitations (memory limit, forgetting, recency bias), and social influence (majority and minority influence). I also study how macro-level collective behaviors such as social change, diversity, polarization, and intergroup dis/integration emerge from these micro-level psychological mechanisms. I particularly focus on the role of minority dissent in these processes such that how underrepresented minority members respond differently from prototypical majority members to uncertainty and disagreement in groups.


Social phenomena can hardly be well understood at a single level of analysis. Many factors at different levels interact to influence one another over a long period of time, and different disciplines focus on different levels of analysis. 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. I have been collaborating with interdisciplinary researchers - epistemologists, political scientists, sociologists, and complex systems scientists. Depending on research questions and levels of analysis, I use laboratory and field experiments, surveys, network analysis, and agent-based computational modeling.