Faculty Profile

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David CHAN

(On Leave)
Full-time Faculty
Lee Kong Chian Professor of Psychology; Director, BSI
School of Social Sciences

Dr David Chan is Lee Kong Chian Professor of Psychology and Director of the Behavioural Sciences Initiative at SMU, and Adjunct Principal Scientist and Scientific Advisor at A*STAR. His works in diverse areas of social-behavioural sciences published in top psychology, management and methods journals have been cited extensively in various disciplines. A 2020 study by Stanford University on researcher impact among all scientists across all disciplines named him in the top one percent worldwide. He is Elected Fellow of six international psychological associations and has received numerous international achievement awards in psychology. Together with Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman, he served on an international committee who authored a report on national well-being across countries which was subsequently incorporated by the United Nations in its Human Development Report. He has served on numerous national councils, committees and boards, and he is currently a member of the Social Science Research Council, NParks Board of Directors and Chairman of the Selection Panel for the A*STAR Social Sciences Innovation Seed Fund. He is an invited columnist for The Straits Times and consultant to Channel NewsAsia on several award-winning documentary series. Prior to entering academia, he was a police officer in the Singapore Police Force.


  • PhD (Psychology), Michigan State University, 1998
  • MA (Psychology), Michigan State University, 1996
  • BSocSc (First Class Honors, Psychology), National University of Singapore, 1990

Research Interests

  • Research methods & Data Analysis
  • Behavioural Sciences & Public Policy
  • Well-Being and Quality of Life
  • Personnel Selection
  • Adaptation to Changes at Work
  • Organisational Health & Workplace Climate

Course(s) Taught in SMU

  • Research Methods in the Social Sciences (UG)
  • Industrial and Organisational Psychology (UG)
  • Psychology of Individual Differences (UG)
  • Subjective Well-Being (UG)
  • Capstone Seminar (UG)
  • Industrial and Organisational Psychology (PG)
  • Public Policy and Behaviour (PG)