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When I'm not doing research, I like to read on arts and find ironies in life. I also like to play a variety of card and board games. My non-psychology friends always claim that I have an unfair advantage because I can "read" their minds. Well, like many other psychology researchers, I simply pretend that it is true and play on.

My Story

Dr Jia is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore (NUS). He completed his Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honors (First Class) at NUS in 2007 and was awarded his PhD in Social Psychology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2012. He first joined NUS psychology as a Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow in 2012 before beginning his assistant professorship in 2014.

Dr Jia is a social psychologist whose main research interests lie in goal pursuit and self-regulation. One remarkable aspect of the human species is our ability to strive for long-term goals (e.g., academic excellence, financial security, and physical fitness). Dr Jia’s research recognizes the importance of the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and societal contexts in which people situate their goal pursuit. By studying how individuals negotiate the goal-context dynamics, he believes that we can achieve a deeper understanding of individual and group flourishing.

In general, Dr Jia’s research adopts a theoretically driven, multi-methods approach. While the experimental design is his main choice of methodology, he supplements it with well-designed surveys, longitudinal studies, analyses of “big” datasets, and intervention programs to better triangulate the psychological mechanisms that his team study. Dr Jia’s research informs on a variety of topics such as self-regulation, academic achievement, temptations, self-control strategies, national identification, intergroup conflicts, social cognition, and creativity.


His research has appeared in internationally reputable journals such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Social Psychological and Personality Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Inquiry, and Emotion. Some of his work has also been featured by international and local media outlets such as Scientific American, the Guardian, BBC, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Channel News Asia. Dr Jia has served on the editorial board of Asian Journal of Social Psychology (2016-17), Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (2017-present), and currently serves as an associated editor for Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology (2020-present).

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