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Hwang, Kwang-Kuo, Ph.D.



Since I devoted myself to the indigenization movement of social sciences in 1980s, I have realized that the fundamental barrier for Chinese social scientists to make genuine breakthrough in their research works is a shortage of comprehensive understanding on the progress of Western philosophy of science which is the essential ethos of Western civilization.

   All the knowledge sought and taught in the Western colleges has been constructed on the ground of philosophy. In order to help Chinese young scholars to understand the progress of Western philosophy of science, I had spent more than ten years to write a book entitled Logics of Social Science to discuss different perspectives on crucial issues of ontology, epistemology and methodology which had been proposed by seventeen representative figures of Western philosophy in 20 century. The first half of this book addressed itself on the switch of philosophy of nature science from positivism to neo-positivism, the last half of it expounded the philosophy of social science including structuralism, hermeneutic and critical science.
   I have participated in Asian Association of Social Psychology since 1997 and was elected as its president from 2003 to 2005. The experience enabled me to realize that the shortage of comprehensive understanding on Western philosophy of science is a common problem to all social scientists of non-Western countries, therefore I decided to seek out a way to solve this problem by my own research works.

   I was appointed as the principal investigator of the Project In Search of Excellence for Research on Chinese Indigenous Psychology since the beginning of 2000. When the project was ended in 2008, I integrated findings of previous related researches into a book entitled Confucian Relationalism: Philosophical Reflection, Theoretical Construction and Empirical Research which was published in 2009.

   Based on the philosophy of neo-Positivism, this book advocated that the epistemological goal of indigenous psychology is to construct a series of theory that represent not only the universal mind of human beings but also the particular mentality of people in a given society. On the basis of this presumption, I explained how I constructed the theoretical model of face and favor which was supposed to represent the universal mind for social interaction, then I analyzed the inner structure of Confucianism and discussed its attributes in terms of Western ethics. In the following chapters of this book, I constructed a series of theories on the presupposition of relationalism to integrate findings of empirical research on social exchange, concept of face, achievement motivation, organizational behaviors, and conflict resolution in Confucian society.

   Asian Association of Indigenous and Cultural Psychology held its first international conference on July 24-27, 2010 at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where I was elected as its first president. In my keynote speech delivered at its inauguration ceremony, I mentioned that Hendrich, Heine & Norenzayan(2010, a, b)from the University of British Columbia reported findings of their research in Nature and Behavioral and Brain Science, which indicated that 96% of samples of psychological research published in the world’s top journals from 2003 to 2007 were drawn from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic societies, which house just 12% of the world’s population. In fact, the psychological dispositions of such a WEIRD sample are very particular and unique.

   Therefore, I criticized that the theories of Western social psychology which had been constructed on the presumption of individualism are too WEIRD to be applied in non-Western countries. The mission of Asian Association of Indigenous and Cultural Psychology is to initiate a scientific revolution by constructing a series of theory on the presumption of relationalism to replace the Western theories of WEIRD psychology so as to help people of non-Western countries to solve various problems in their daily life.

   Now I have translated Confucian Relationalism into English in order to provide an exampler for non-Western indigenous psychologists to echo in support of the scientific revolution and to establish their own indigenous psychologies.

   After the first international conference of AAICP, I also developed a Mandela Model of Self. According to my advocacy, the progress of indigenous psychologies in non-Western countries must be push forward by theoretical construction, but not only collection of empirical data. Therefore, I wrote a book entitled A Proposal of Scientific Revolution in Psychology to illustrate my ideas, which contains the following chapters.

1.   Mandela Model of Self
2.   From wisdom to theory
3.   Philosophical switch of Positivism
4.   From Behaviorism to cognitive psychology
5.   Scientism and naive positivism
6.   Anti-inductive theory and self-centered integration
7.   Call for scientific revolution in psychology
8.   Cultural value and wisdom for action
9.   Self-cultivation and realms of life in Confucianism
10. Confucian ethics for ordinary people and model of action

The accomplishment of Mandela model of self and the theoretical model of face and favor represent two universal models for future development of indigenous theories on self and interpersonal interaction respectively.

Based on these models, I will promote the theoretical construction as well as empirical research on Chinese indigenous psychology on the one hand, and try to expand my impact on international community of psychology on the other, in expectation to open up a new field of research for indigenous psychologies of non-Western countries.

Professor K. K. Hwang

Selected Publications


Book by Hwang,K. K. (2012).  Foundations of Chinese Psychology: Confucian Social Relations.  NY: Springer SBM. The introduction by Tony Marsella and Wade Pickren。


Hwang, K. K. (2011, July), The Mandala Model of Self, Psychol Stud, DOI 10.1007/s12646-011-0110-1 PDF

Hwang, K.-K. (2011, August). Linking Science to Culture: Challenge to Psychologists. Paper presented at the 119th Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C. PDF

Hwang, K.-K. (2011). Reification of culture in indigenous psychologies: Merit or mistake? Social Epistemology, 25(2), 125-131. PDF


Hwang, K.K. (2010)
The Implication of Popper's Anti-inductive Theory
for the Development of Indigenous Psychologies
National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2010;
Psychol Stud DOI 10.1007/s12646-010-0050-1

Hwang, K.K. (2010) Question on Indigenous Psychologies from Martin and Gregory- SE Review Collective 1st Interview - In Person/Skype

Hwang, K. K. (2010). Way to Capture Theory of Indigenous Psychology. Psychological Studies, 55(2), 96-100.

Hwang, K. K. (in press). Life Goals, Achievement Motivation and Value of Effort in Confucian society. In U. Kim, and Y. S. Park(Eds.), Asias’s educational miracle: psychological, social and cultural perspectives. New York: Springer.

Hwang, K. K. & Han, K. H. (2010). Face and Morality in Confucian society. In M. H. Bond (Ed.), The handbook of Chinese psychology, New York: Oxford University Press ,479-498.


Kwang-Kuo Hwang and Jeffrey Chang (2009). Self-Cultivation: Culturally Sensitive Psychotherapies in Confucian Societies The Counseling Psychologist

Hwang, K. K. (2009). Confucianism and Taoism. In R. Shweder, T. Bidell, A. Dailey, S. Dixon, P. Miller, & J. Modell, (Eds.), The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion.  University of Chicago Press, 205-206.

Hwang, K. K. (2009). Confucious. In R. Shweder, T. Bidell, A. Dailey, S. Dixon, P. Miller, & J. Modell, (Eds.), The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion.  University of Chicago Press, 206-207.

Chen, S. W., Wang, H. H., Wei, C. F. Fwu, B. J., & Hwang, K. K. (2009).   Taiwanese students' self-attributions for two types of achievement goals. The Journal of Social Psychology, 149(2), 179-194.
Hwang, K. K. (2009). The Development of Indigenous Counseling in Contemporary Confucian Communities. The Counseling Psychologist, 37(7),930-943.

Hwang, K. K. & Chang, J. (2009). Self-Cultivation: Culturally Sensitive Psychotherapies in Confucian Societies. The Counseling Psychologist, 37(7), 1010-1032.

Hwang, K. K. (2009). New Approach of Indigenous Social Psychology in the Age of Globalization. Taiwan Journal of East Asian Studies, 6(2), 111-130.


Hwang, K. K. (2008). Leadership Theory of Legalism and its Function in Confucian Society. In C. C. Chen, and Y. T. Lee (Eds.), Leadership and Management in China: philosophies, theories and practices. Cambridge University Press, pp.108-142. 


Hwang, K. K., Cheng, W. Y. and Lee, Y. T. (2007). Confucian Relation and Chinese Organizational Culture. In Y. T. Lee, V. Calvez and A. M. Guénette(Eds.), La Compétence Culturelle: S'équipe pour les défis du management international. Paris: L’Harmattan. pp. 141-158.


Hwang, K. K. (2006). Moral face and social face: Contingent self-esteem in Confucian society. International Journal of Psychology, 41(4), 276-281.

Kim, U., Yang, K. S. & Hwang, K. K. (2006). Contributions to indigenous and cultural psychology: Understanding people in context. In U. Kim, K. S. Yang, and Hwang, K. K. (Eds.), Indigenous and cultural psychology: Understanding people in context. New York: Springer, pp.3-26. PDF

Kim, U., Yang, K. S. & Hwang, K. K. (Eds.) (2006). Indigenous and cultural psychology: Understanding people in context. New York: Springer.

Hwang, K. K. (2006). Constructive Realism and Confucian relationism: An epistemological strategy for the development of indigenous psychology. In U. Kim, K. S. Yang, and Hwang, K. K. (Eds.), Indigenous and cultural psychology: Understanding people in context. New York: Springer, pp.73-108.


Han, K. H., Li, M. C., and Hwang, K. K. (2005). Cognitive Responses to Favor Request from Social Targets of Different Relationships in a Confucian Society. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22(2),283-294.

Hwang, K. K. (2005). A Philosophical Reflection on the Epistemology and Methodology of Indigenous Psychologies. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 8(1), 5-17.

Hwang, K. K. (2005). From anticolonialism to postcolonialism: The emergence of Chinese indigenous psychology in Taiwan. International Journal of Psychology, 40(4),228-238.

Hwang, K. K. (2005). The Third Wave of Culture Psychology: The Indigenous Movement. The Psychologist, 18(2),80-83.

Shams, M., & Hwang, K. K. (2005). Special issue on responses to the epistemological challenges to indigenous psychologies. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 8(1), 3-4.

Hwang, K. K. (2005).The Necessity of Indigenous Psychology: The perspective of constructive realism. In M. J. Jandl & K. Greiner (eds.), Science, medicine and culture. New York: Peter Lang, pp.284-294.