Ma-Kellams, Christine

Christine Ma-Kellams




Preferred: 408-924-5642

Office Hours

Tuesdays/Wednesdays 12:30-1:30

Assistant Professor - Department of Psychology

Faculty MemberResearch & Experimental Psychology MA Program


Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2013-2014

College Fellow, Harvard University (Psychology Department), 2011-2013

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2006-2011

BA., University of California, Berkeley, 2002-2006



Christine Ma-Kellams is an Associate Professor of Psychology at San José State University and is a member of the MA program in Research & Experimental Psychology. She obtained her Ph.D. in social psychology from UC Santa Barbara and completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard University in both the psychology department and the Kennedy School of Government. Prior to coming to SJSU, she was an assistant professor at the University of La Verne. Her research draws on social and cultural psychology to explore how intra-psychic processes (e.g., lay cognitive theories; emotions) and extra-psychic systems (e.g., governments, social institutions, close relationships) interact to produce a dynamic model of culture. Understanding the oftentimes ostensibly contradictory relationships between intra- and extra-psychic systems is central to the investigation of the human psyche because they provide a window into the situational contingencies that define our inherent complexity.



1.Ma-Kellams, C. (2018). Cultural Psychology: Crosscultural and Multicultural Perspectives. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.


2. Gamst, G., Ma-Kellams, C., Meyers, L., Arellano-Morales, L., Vargas, V., McCafferty, K., Adalpe, R., Olvera, V., Rosero, H., He, K., Cassidy, L, Bench, R., Awad, N., Verbarendse, K.(2023). Shifting mediates the relationship between ethnic identity, acculturation status,and racism-related stress among Asian American women. Asian American Journal of Psychology.

3. Ma-Kellams, C. (2022). How and why are inequities maintained?   In Chin, J.L., Garcia, Y.E., & Blume, A. (Eds.), The Psychological of Inequity. Westport, CT: Praeger Press.

4. Gamst, G., Ma-Kellams, C., Arellano-Morales, L., Meyers, L., Balla, J., McCafferty, K., Verbarendse, K., Serpas, D., Rojas, A., Huffman, N. & Menendez, C. (2021). Development and Validation of the Asian American Women’s Shifting Scale (AsAWSS). Asian American Journal of Psychology. doi: 10.1037/aap0000220

5. Ma-Kellams, C., Harrison, R. & *Nguyen, M. (2021). Mortality salience and uncertainty threat among younger vs. older adults. GeroPsych. doi: 10.1024/1662-9647/a000246

6. Ma-Kellams, C. & Kwon, R. (2021).  The relationship between first-year learning communities and academic performance in Introductory Psychology and Sociology. Teaching of Psychology.

7. Ma-Kellams, C. (2021). Using True Experiments to Study Culture: Manipulations, Measurement Issues, and the Question of Appropriate Control Groups. Methods in Psychology, 4. doi: 10.1016/j.metip.2021.100046

8. Ma-Kellams, C. (2020). Using Google Search Volume to Inform Early Detection Interventions for Public Health Crises: A Policy Brief. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation,  9(2), 123-126. doi: 10.1037/ipp0000128

9. Knight, E., Kutlikova, H., Morales, P., Christian, C., Harbaugh, W., Mayr, U., Ortiz, T., Gilbert, K., Ma-Kellams C., Riečanský, I., Watson, N., Eisenegger, C., Lamm, C., Mehta, P. & Carré, J. (2020). Weak and Variable Effects of Exogenous Testosterone on Cognitive ReflectionTest Performance in Three Experiments: Commentary on Nave, Nadler, Zava, and Camerer (2017). Psychological Science, 31(7), 890-891. doi: 10.1177/0956797619885607

10. Ma-Kellams, C. (2020). Cultural variation and similarities in cognitive thinking styles vs. judgment biases: A review of environmental factors and evolutionary forces. Review of General Psychology.

11. Ma-Kellams, C. & Wu, M.S. (2020). Gender, behavioral inhibition/activation, and emotional reactions to negative natural and social events. Personality and Individual Differences, 156, 109809. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.109809

12. Ma-Kellams, C. & Wannamaker, S.* (2019). Capturing the Worldview of Global Citizens: Development and Validation of an Improved Measure of Global Citizenry. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. doi: 10.1037/pac0000404

13. Ma-Kellams, C., Bishop, B.*, Zhang, M.* & Villagrana, B.* (2018). Using “Big Data” vs.Alternative Measures of Aggregate Data to Predict the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. Psychological Reports, 121(4), 726-735. doi: 10.1177/0033294117736318

14. Ma-Kellams, C., Spencer-Rodgers, J. & Peng, K. (2018). 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.

15. Spencer-Rodgers, J., Anderson, E., Ma-Kellams, C., & Wang, C., & Peng, K. (2018). 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.

16. 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

17. 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, 146-161. doi:10.1111/pere.12173

18. 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

19. 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. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.09.024

20. 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/ppm0000115

21. Ma-Kellams, C., Or, F., Baek, J. & Kawachi, 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

22. 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

23. 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, 6, 559-569. doi:10.1177/1948550614567358

24. 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

25. 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

26. Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2013). Does science make you moral? PLoS-ONE,8(3),e57989. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057989

27. Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2012). The ironic effect of financial incentive onempathic accuracy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49 (1), 65-71. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2012.08.014

28. 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. doi:10.1177/0146167212440291

29. Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2012). Enjoying life in the face of death: East-Westdifferences in responses to mortality salience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(5), 773-786. doi:10.1037/a0029366

30. 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. doi:10.1037/a0027010

31. Ma-Kellams, C. & Blascovich, J. (2011). Culturally divergent responses to mortality salience. Psychological Science, 22(8), 1019-1024. doi:10.1177/0956797611413935

32. 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. doi:10.1177/0146167210388193. Winner of the SPSP Best Graduate Student Authored Publication Award