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Christine Ma-Kellams

Christine Ma-Kellams

Assistant Professor, Psychology

Main: (909) 448-4738

Assistant Professor of Psychology; received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the Psychology Department and the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research interests center on cross-cultural differences, emotion, and decision-making. In one line of work, she focuses on East-West cultural differences in basic emotional processes and responses to mortality threat. More recently, she is working on expanding our understanding of culture beyond ethnicity to examine alternative forms of culture (e.g., socioeconomic status, religion, time). She is also investigating both culture-specific and universal processes involved in judgment and decision-making processes. Dr. Ma-Kellams is designated as core undergraduate faculty.


  • Ma-Kellams, C. (2018). Cultural Psychology: Cross-cultural and Multicultural Perspectives. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield.
  • Ma-Kellams, C. & Zhang, M.* (2017). Is there such a thing as “Ultimate” meaning? A  review of fluid vs. fixed models of different forms of human striving. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 39, 326-341. doi: 10.1080/01973533.2017.1361325 
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Bishop, B.*, Zhang, M.* & Villagrana, B.* (2017). Using “Big Data” vs. Alternative Measures of Aggregate Data to Predict the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. Psychological Reports. doi: 10.1177/0033294117736318
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Spencer-Rodgers, J. & Peng, K. (2017). The Yin and Yang of Attitudes and Related Constructs: Dialectical and Holistic Influences. In Spencer-Rodgers, J. & Peng, K. (Eds.), The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian Cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Spencer-Rodgers, J., Anderson, E., Ma-Kellams, C., & Wang, C., & Peng, K. (2017). What is dialectical thinking? Conceptualization and measurement.  In Spencer-Rodgers, J. & Peng, K. (Eds.), The Psychological and Cultural Foundations of East Asian Cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Wang, M.* & Cardiel, H.* (2017). Attractiveness vs. relationship longevity: Beauty is not all it’s cracked up to be. Personal Relationships, 24, 146-161doi:10.1111/pere.12173 
  • Ma-Kellams, C. & Lerner, J. (2016). Counterintuitive effects of intuition: Systematic, not intuitive thinking promotes empathic accuracy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111, 674-685. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000063
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Lai, L., Taylor, S. & Lerner, J. (2016). The contribution of trait negative affect and stress to recall for bodily states. Physiology & Behavior, 167, 274-281. 
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Or, F., & Baek, J. (2016). Suicide Contagion in Response to Widely Publicized Celebrity Deaths: The Roles of Depressed Affect, Death-Thought Accessibility, and Attitudes.Psychology of Popular Media Culture. doi:10.1037/
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Or, F., Baek, J. & Kawasaki, I. (2016). Rethinking suicide surveillance: Google search data and self-reported suicidality differentially estimate completed suicide risk. Clinical Psychological Science, 4, 480-484. doi:10.1177/2167702615593475.
  • Ma-Kellams, C. (2015). When perceiving the supernatural changes the natural: Religion and agency detection. Journal of Culture and Cognition, 15, 337–343. doi: 10.1163/15685373-12342154.
  • Sherman, G., Lerner, J., Renshon, J., Ma-Kellams, C., & Joel, S. (2015). Perceiving Others’ Feelings: The Importance of Personality and Social Structure. Social Psychological and Personality Science, doi: 10.1177/1948550614567358
  • Ma-Kellams, C. (2014). Cross-cultural differences in somatic awareness and interoceptive accuracy: A Review of the literature and directions for future research. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1379. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01379.
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Rocci Ruiz, A.*, Lee, J.*, Ferreira, M.* & Madu, A.* (2014). Not all education is equally liberal: The effects of science education on political attitudes. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 2(1), doi:10.5964/jspp.v2i1.259.
  • Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2013). Does science make you moral? PLoS-ONE, 8(3), e57989.
  • Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2012). The ironic effect of financial incentive on empathic accuracy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49 (1), 65-71.
  • Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2012). Enjoying life in the face of death: East-West differences in responses to mortality salience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(5), 773-786.
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Blascovich, J., & McCall, C. (2012). Culture and the body: East-West differences in visceral perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(4), 718-728.
  • Ma-Kellams, C., & Blascovich, J. (2012). Reading the emotions of friends vs. strangers: Culture and self-construal moderate empathic accuracy. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(7), 933-945.
  • Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2011). Culturally divergent responses to mortality salience. Psychological Science, 22(8), 1019-1024.
  • Ma-Kellams, C., Spencer-Rodgers, J. & Peng, K. (2011). I am against us? Unpacking ingroup favoritism via dialecticism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(1), 15-27. Winner of the SPSP Best Graduate Student Authored Publication Award.