SMU Professor David Chan receives inaugural prestigious award of Scientist-Practitioner Presidential Recognition from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

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The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) has conferred the inaugural prestigious award of Scientist-Practitioner Presidential Recognition to Professor David Chan (陈振中教授), Director of the Behavioural Sciences Institute (行为科学研究院院长) and Professor of Psychology of the Singapore Management University (SMU) (新加坡管理大学) for his outstanding contributions in the combined science and practice in the field of industrial and organisational psychology. Professor Chan will be receiving the award at the Annual SIOP conference to be held next month in Washington, DC, United States.

The SIOP, which has more than 10,000 members, is the largest organisation of industrial and organisational psychologists worldwide. It is devoted to the scientific study of working and the application of that science to workplace issues facing individuals, teams, and organisations.

The Scientist-Practitioner Presidential Recognition award is an honour bestowed upon individuals whose works have made outstanding contributions and impact on both the science and the practice of industrial and organisational psychology, affecting the creation and dissemination of knowledge as well as workers and work practices in organisations. As stated by the SIOP, the award is a recognition of the individual’s world-class stature in both the practitioner and scientific communities as demonstrated by notable contributions to both, with

  • “a history of conducting research in applied settings that has led to the creation of knowledge”;
  • “a pattern of aligning the interests of the practice and research communities with each other through practice, research, writing, and behaviour and thus modeling the scientist-practitioner model”; and
  • “a noteworthy pattern of disseminating knowledge about methods, procedures and practices through presentations and publications in a variety of outlets.”

Professor Chan is internationally known for his scientific and practice contributions in research methods, personnel selection and individual adaptability, as well as in many fields beyond industrial and organisational psychology, including personality and social psychology, particularly in his research on individual differences and social attitudes and how individuals make judgments and adapt to various changes across diverse situations.

In addition to this latest prestigious award, Professor Chan has previously received numerous prestigious international scholarly awards from various scientific organisations. In April 2011, he was the first Asian to be appointed Elected Fellow of the SIOP. In the same year, he was named Elected Fellow of both the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the American Psychological Association (APA), and a year earlier in 2010 he was presented the award of Elected Fellow of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP). In 2017, both the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) and the American Psychological Association Division of Personality and Social Psychology (APA Division 8) conferred Professor Chan the Elected Fellow award, making him the first scientist in the world to receive Elected Fellow status from all the six major international organisations for psychologists (i.e., SPSP, APA Division 8, IAAP, SIOP, APS, APA).

This is not the first time that Professor Chan made history in his field and for Singapore in the world stage. In 2003, he became the first non-American to receive the prestigious Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award presented by SIOP, and in 1999 he was the first non-American to receive the William Owens Scholarly Achievement Award. In 2000, he was ranked 9th worldwide in the list of Top 100 most published researchers of the 1990s in the top journals of Industrial and Organisational Psychology.

In Singapore, Professor Chan has received numerous awards for his public service contributions, including the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the Special Recognition Honour by the Ministry of Home Affairs for outstanding contributions to the Home Team in the field of psychology, the Medallion Award for Distinguished Service from the Ministry of National Development, and the Public Administration Medal (Silver) National Day Award.

Professor Chan, whose works have been cited over 10,000 times in various scientific disciplines, has served on an international committee with Nobel Laureate in Economics Professor Daniel Kahneman and four other psychologists that submitted to the United Nations a report on measures of national well-being across countries, which was subsequently incorporated in a report published by the United Nations.

Professor Chan serves on various scientific advisory panels, national councils and boards in the public and people sectors. He is also a regular contributor to various media outlets in Singapore, including being an invited columnist writing commentaries for The Straits Times and a consultant to the Channel NewsAsia’s “Social Experiments”, which is a five-part programme series that examined human behaviours and social phenomena using scientific experiments and “Days of Disaster”, which is a give-part documentary series that examined the lessons learned from previous disasters in Singapore.