Cornell human development professor Qi Wang, whose research on the influence of culture on social cognition has been published in top psychology journals, will receive the 2013 Outstanding Contribution to Research on Asian/Asian Americans award from the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) at its biennial meeting April 18-20 in Seattle.
Given by the Asian Caucus of the SRCD, the award recognizes scholars who have made unique contributions to research on Asian or Asian-American children and families.
“The reward is a reflection of what I’ve been doing, and obviously I’ll continue what I’ve been doing,” Wang said. “When you do research, it’s out of your passion, not for winning awards.”
Wang’s research focuses on the intersection between cognitive and social development, examining the way cultural beliefs impact the mechanisms that underlie social-cognitive functions, like autobiographical memory, sense of self and emotional knowledge.
“The key feature of Professor Wang’s work is that it’s caused people to understand that the effects of the ecologies in which we exist are a lot deeper than we thought they were,” said Charles Brainerd, professor and chair of the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology. “People in psychology have acknowledged the importance of culture on performance in school, relationships and personality, but not so much in functions like memory. [Wang’s research] has shown that this traditional idea in psychology needs to be rethought.”
Sarah Cutler ’16 is a student communications assistant for the College of Human Ecology.