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Liqi Zhu

Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Short bio:

Dr. Liqi Zhu is a Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Her research focuses on children’s cognitive development and social behavior, particularly the social-cognitive mechanisms underlying the development of children’s fairness and prosocial behavior, and the strategies to foster these behaviors. She has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters in the field of developmental psychology, in both English and Chinese.

Dr. Zhu has been an invited speaker at notable international conferences, including the International Congress of Psychology (ICP2008 in Berlin and ICP2016 in Yokohama) and the International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP2018 in Montreal). She has also served as the chair of the jury for the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) Young Investigator Award in 2016.

In her editorial roles, Dr. Zhu has contributed as an Associate Editor for Child Development, the top-tier journal in her discipline, and is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Psychology, the official journal of the International Union of Psychological Science, and for the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Furthermore, she is the regional coordinator for the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (ISSBD) in China, an Executive Member of ISSBD, and a Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP).

Cultivating Kindness Across Cultures: The Development and Enhancement of Fairness and Prosocial Behavior


This presentation delves into the development of fairness and prosocial behavior in children, highlighting the underlying mechanisms, cross-cultural perspectives, and strategies to enhance these behaviors across diverse contexts. We examine the cognitive and social mechanisms of fairness and prosocial behavior, emphasizing the role of theory of mind, cognitive flexibility, and empathy in shaping children’s social interactions. Research has shown that these cognitive abilities are crucial in understanding and applying fairness principles, leading to prosocial actions such as sharing and cooperation.

Cross-cultural studies provide a broader understanding of how different cultural contexts influence the development of fairness and prosocial behavior. In this talk, the impact of family structure, socioeconomic status, and cultural norms on children’s sharing behavior and fairness preferences will be discussed. These studies reveal the universality and variability of moral development across cultures, shedding light on the interaction between innate tendencies and environmental factors.

The talk will also address the strategies and contexts that promote prosocial behaviors in children, including the role of rhythmic coordination, musical activities, and social power dynamics. Research suggests that engaging in synchronized activities and understanding social hierarchies can enhance children’s perspective-taking and cooperative behavior.

By integrating insights from the above research, this talk aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors that contribute to the development of fairness and prosocial behavior, laying the groundwork for interventions that promote moral and cooperative behavior from early childhood.

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